Road Proposals Lacking

Road Proposals Lacking

It is exciting when proposals put forth from the government to address the current road-funding crisis.  However, proposals that lack some basic infrastructure, which will look towards the future of the road network, send worrying signals to the AMSA community.

The Highway Trust Fund, HTF, is looking for funding for the immediate future, but it doesn’t address the growing concern when a funding crisis hits because of a lack of investment. Without adequate means of creating funding which will sustain the HTF in the future, the problems that are already here are only being addressed in the short-term.

The rate of taxation on fuel is still sitting at 18.4 percent on the cost of fuel sold; this price hasn’t changed since 1993. While this is great news for the fuel users, it doesn’t provide the income required to repair and upgrade the roads. Even if raised in line with inflation, the rising fuel efficiency in cars reduces the amount of fuel consumed and thus dwindling the rate of tax raised .  There might be more money available for the HTF initially, but it will soon run out.

The current legislation proposals are looking at generating income for the HTF from an extensive taxation on a corporate level, with a once only deal. The money raised will go to improve the highway and bridge programs over the next few years.

However, it doesn’t address the issues of the current situation to maintain the roads to an acceptable standard, which will continue to be a problem with reduced funding.  This affects the moving business state-wide because poorly maintained roads can cause damage to vehicles resulting in claims of compensation.  The decreasing funds available to the HTF also increases the cost to the business owners long-term.

Therefore, while the proposal introduces some road improvements it doesn’t go far enough to ensure adequate funding in future years.