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Leading Construction Groups, Senators Urge Fiscal Commission on Gas Tax
AED has joined 31 national organizations and construction industry groups to urge the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to consider a gas tax increase to ease the federal budget deficit and provide more resources for highway investment. The Nov. 5 letter, which was coordinated by the Transportation Construction Coalition, supports a proposal by Sens. George Voinovich (R-OH) and Tom Carper (D-DE) that the commission raise federal gas and diesel taxes by one cent per month for 25 months — a total of 25 cents over a three-year period.
The deficit commission was created by President Obama to explore ideas to record budget deficits and ever-increasing national debt. The bipartisan commission will propose recommendations to balance the federal budget by 2015. The group, led by Alan Simpson, former Republican senator from Wyoming, and Erskine Bowles, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, is expected to issue its final report (must receive the approval of 14 of 18 members) by Dec. 1.
The Voinovich-Carper proposal would dedicate 10 cents from the increase to short-term deficit reduction ($83 billion over five years), while the remaining 15 cents would fund transportation improvements ($117 billion in new investments over five years). Once the federal debt is under control, the 10 cent increase for deficit reduction will revert solely to transportation funding.
AED and other business trade associations, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Trucking Association, long advocated user fee increases to upgrade our deteriorating highway infrastructure. The Highway Trust Fund cannot support the level of investment necessary to improve our transportation infrastructure and has experienced near negative balances. Consequently, a gas tax increase is the fiscally responsible way to fund significant new investment and restore long-term certainty to equipment markets.
Article Date: 2010-11-08
Source: Associated Equipment Distributors
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