By Mark Holan, editorial director, ARTBA
A Senate transportation subcommittee leader and freight industry executives want revenue from federal tax reform and other sources focused on overhauling the nation’s multimodal infrastructure network.
“We must identify revenue sources that provide sufficient long-term funding for the Highway Trust Fund,” Michael L. Ducker, president and CEO of FedEx Freight, told a Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation hearing this week.
Noting that “fuel taxes cannot alone fund the system,” Ducker said FedEx supports “a broad mix of revenue sources in order to avoid over-reliance on a single option.”
Derek J. Leathers, president and CEO of Werner Enterprises, said the trucking industry encourages dedicated funding for last-mile intermodal connections that link the National Highway System with ports, airports and rail terminals.
“Without a significant infusion of additional federal revenue, the safety and efficiency of our surface transportation system will continue to deteriorate,” he said. “The trucking industry will consider support for any funding proposals that are likely to induce investment in highway infrastructure, and we support a broad mix of revenue sources in order to avoid over-reliance on a single option.”
However, Leathers said the trucking industry opposes Interstate tolling and vehicle miles traveled assessments.
Lance M. Fritz, chairman, president and CEO of Union Pacific, and James Pelliccio, president and CEO of Port Newark Container Terminal, also addressed the April 4 hearing of Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security.
Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), who chairs the subcommittee, said that “infrastructure is a core duty of the federal government” because of its impact on the economy, public safety, and national security. She said expanding the national freight program would be a wise investment in America’s future.
“I support using a portion of tax reform revenues to fund infrastructure investments,” she said.