Government Affairs Actions
The government has a tremendous impact on your business, and NATSO’s government affairs team works year round to advocate on behalf of the travel plaza and truckstop industry, monitoring regulations and legislation to assess the effect on NATSO members. NATSO keeps you informed of regulations and pending legislation through NATSO News Weekly, timely e-mail alerts and Stop Watch magazine.
NATSO's Action Alerts
To sign up for Action Alerts, click here. One of the most effective ways to influence policy makers is through direct communication with the offices of your elected officials. It is imperative that Members of Congress are aware of how a particular issue will impact their constituents. Developing and maintaining strong relationships with your elected officials is a primary way of ensuring legislators have a pulse on what is affecting the truckstop industry.
Our Top Issues:
A handful of states have suggested that the federal government overturn the law that prohibits commercial development at highway rest areas as a way to raise revenue. Repealing the law would allow state governments to get into the business of selling food and fuel from an advantageous location on the highway shoulder. Interchange businesses cannot compete with commercialized rest areas, which are conveniently located on the highway right-of-way, and would create a de facto monopoly in favor of businesses operated out of rest areas. Allowing states to set up shop along the interstates threatens more than 97,000 businesses nationwide and jeopardizes 2.2 million jobs. Read more where NATSO stands on rest area commercialization here.
Tolling and Privatization
Tolls unfairly burden drivers who rely on the Interstate Highway System, create safety concerns and congestion on secondary roads, and have disastrous effects on businesses located on interstate routes. The current system of fuel taxes constitutes the most efficient and fair way to tax motorists for use of the nation’s highway system. Read more about where NATSO stands on tolling and privatization here.
The nation’s truckstops and travel plazas are among the largest distributors of diesel fuel and gasoline, and NATSO closely monitors regulatory action and industry trends that affect the supply and distribution of fuel. From biodiesel tax credits to underground storage tank requirements, NATSO is on the forefront of fuel issues.
Retail store owners across the country, including truckstops and travel plazas, are facing tremendous financial pressure as a result of hidden fees they must pay when a consumer uses a credit card during a transaction. These fees, commonly known as interchange fees, are charged by the credit card issuer, and rank among the highest in the industrialized world. In the United States, these fees are approximately 2 percent of the total cost of the transaction, often more than the profit margin on a gallon of fuel sold. Read more on NATSO's credit card interchange fee stance here.
Not all regulations come about in the halls of Congress. There are over 50 regulatory agencies that have the power to create and enforce regulations that affect how the nation’s businesses operate. The Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Food and Drug Administration are just some of the agencies making rules that apply to the nation’s truckstops and travel plazas. NATSO tracks a variety of regulatory issues, from truck idling and tobacco to ultra-low-sulfur diesel and underground storage tank requirements.
NATSO Day on Capitol Hill
NATSO’s annual Day on Capitol Hill is your opportunity to meet with your Senators and Representatives and their staff to discuss face-to-face the important issues facing NATSO members. NATSO staff will prepare you for your meetings, providing you with information on the issues to be discussed and some helpful hints on how to conduct a successful meeting. The event concludes with NATSO’s famous Capitol Hill pie reception, where NATSO members can mingle with Members of Congress.
In 2013, Day on Capitol Hill was held May 6 - 8. Dates for 2014 will be announced this summer.
NATSO’s Political Action Committee (NATSO PAC) is dedicated to supporting members of congress who support the travel plaza and truckstop industry. NATSO PAC was created more than 30 years ago, and since that time has been an important tool aiding NATSO’s legislative agenda. Contact Brad Stotler at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on NATSO's PAC.