Tax Plans Spur Transportation Funding Debate

The long-standing debate over how to fund transportation was kicked into high gear Feb. 26, when President Obama and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp issued radically different tax plans for generating revenues for the Highway Trust Fund, which is set to expire at the end of October.

Speaking at a renovated bus terminal in Minnesota, the President called for a four-year, $302 billion transportation bill that would derive part of its funding by reforming the tax code. The President proposed using $150 billion to help shore up the next transportation bill. The President said this amount would fill the current funding gap in the Highway Trust Fund and increase surface transportation investment over current projected levels by nearly $90 billion over the next four years.

Rep. Camp’s tax reform plan, by comparison, would cut hundreds of current tax breaks, including the biodiesel tax credit, but would dedicate $126.5 billion to the Highway Trust Fund. The plan would also simplify personal taxes and generate revenues through a one-time tax on corporate overseas profits, as part of a transition to an international tax system. Several lawmakers said it is unlikely that Rep. Camp’s tax reform proposal will move through Congress this year.

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) said in a statement, “Chairman Camp and President Obama have presented proposals that I hope will bring increased focus to the challenges facing the Highway Trust Fund and the importance of the federal role in our national transportation system.”

Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman's photo

Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman

Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman develops and executes communications strategies to advance NATSO’s public relations and advocacy goals. Tiffany also develops and oversees partnerships related to the NATSO Foundation’s public outreach initiatives. Tiffany lives in the D.C. metro area with her husband and their two sons.More
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