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The American Trucking Associations, reviving an argument in Washington that’s older than some roads, is pressing lawmakers and the White House to gradually increase fuel levies in steps by 20 cents a gallon to raise $340bn over 10 years for infrastructure spending. But the effort may be as futile as trying to start an 18-wheeler with an empty gas tank.
President Donald Trump’s administration wants to spend $200bn to build and maintain highways, bridges, ports and other infrastructure projects, with a goal of spurring local governments and private interests to supply additional funding. However, Trump’s plan doesn’t specify where the federal money would come from, and interest groups are jockeying to influence that process.
Trucking companies are pushing for higher fuel taxes because they worry the alternative would be more tolls, which truckers abhor. They face an uphill climb, as the last time the gas tax was raised was 1993, and many Republican legislators are dead set against tax increases of any kind.
That’s one reason trucking industry officials are talking about “fuel user fees” instead of taxes.
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