NATSO, Highway Users Express Concern Over Tolling Legislation

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The House of Representatives passed legislation last week by voice vote that would broadly authorize discount programs for residents living in close proximity to tolls. The legislation, H.R. 897, offered by Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), was intended to provide relief to residents of his district on Staten Island, N.Y., who can only access the island via tolled bridges. The Highway Users Alliance, of which NATSO is a member, voiced strong concern with the legislation because it was not narrowly drafted, and could have unintended consequences for other toll-payers throughout the country. 

In a letter sent to Members of Congress, the Alliance noted that the legislation allows any state or local jurisdiction to charge discriminatory toll rates for non-residents, even on the National Highway System, regardless of circumstance or impact on interstate commerce. In effect, this bill could actually encourage more tolls for all and higher tolls for selected users, such as out-of-state travelers.

It's unclear whether the Senate will take action on this legislation, and Rep. Grimm has agreed to work with stakeholders to resolve concerns.

Photo Credit: dbvirago/bigstock.com

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This article originally ran in NATSO News Weekly (NNW), NATSO's member only weekly electronic newsletter. NNW is packed with the latest updates on government and business issues affecting the truckstop and travel plaza industry.

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