Princeton, NJ, August 03, 2014 --(PR.com
)-- The U.S. Congress recently passed a short-term fix to provide funding for the Highway Trust Fund, but their work is not done yet, according to NAFA Fleet Management Association.
“Congress must develop a long-term solution to this significant issue that has been plaguing the United States for more than a decade,” said NAFA Chief Executive Officer Phillip E. Russo, CAE. “We applaud Congress for taking action to provide a short-term patch, but they have once again kicked the can down the road and have not resolved the root issue.”
The root issue is that the Highway Trust Fund has no sustainable means of generating sufficient revenue to pay for the hundreds of projects for which it is responsible, which total billions of dollars. Those projects include highway improvements, bridges, and other infrastructure projects. With a short-term fix in place, focus must now turn to developing a long-term strategy for funding the HTF.
As the deadline to fund the U.S. Highway Trust Fund approached, several industry groups, including NAFA, suggested long-term solutions. Associations representing state and local government officials, the National League of Cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Governors Association, the American Trucking Association, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, and even AAA, all called upon Congress for a long-term solution. A longer-term bill will provide certainty for states and localities to plan their projects without the fear that funds may dry up before completion.
“Our message to Congress is simple: Your job isn’t close to being done yet,” Russo said. “This is a short-term fix only and until you fix the cause, you’re always going to have to deal with these symptoms.”
NAFA Members’ fleets are major users of the American highway system. They face congestion, poor road conditions, closed bridges, and other obstacles that have a direct impact on their efficiency and their employers’ bottom lines.
NAFA has voiced support for legislation that would increase the gasoline and diesel excise tax, provided that it is indexed to inflation, and with the condition that such an increase be balanced by the inclusion of incentives to offset the tax increase. An increase in the excise tax is the simplest, most straight-forward, and most effective way to generate enough revenue to fund the country’s highway system into the future. The tax was last increased in 1993. Several other national organizations, including ATA, AAA, and the US Chamber of Commerce, are also on record supporting an increase in the gasoline and diesel excise tax.
Several legislative proposals have been introduced to increase the tax on fuels. NAFA has voiced support, in principle, for a proposal by Senators Corker (R-TN) and Murphy (D-CT) that would increase the federal gasoline and diesel taxes by six cents in each of the next two years for a total of 12 cents; index the gas tax to inflation, using the Consumer Price Index (CPI); and offset the revenue raised from increasing the gas tax by providing net tax relief for families and businesses.
NAFA will monitor this situation, and will continue to make the position of fleet professionals known to legislators until a satisfactory conclusion has been reached.
About NAFA Fleet Management Association
NAFA is the world’s premier non-profit association for professionals who manage fleets of sedans, public safety vehicles, trucks, and buses of all types and sizes, and a wide range of military and off-road equipment for organizations across the globe. NAFA is the association for the diverse vehicle fleet management profession regardless of organizational type, geographic location or fleet composition. NAFA’s Full and Associate Members are responsible for the specification, acquisition, maintenance and repair, fueling, risk management, and remarketing of more than 3.5 million vehicles including in excess of 1.1 million trucks of which 350 thousand are medium- and heavy-duty trucks. For more information visit nafa.org