Stripping away federal funding for surface transportation projects and eliminating the federal government’s constitutionally mandated role in promoting interstate commerce would burden states and open the door for widespread tolling of existing interstates, the Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates (ATFI) wrote in a recent editorial.
In the April 8 editorial “Keep Tolls Off Existing Interstate Lanes,” ATFI criticized pro-tolling advocates for pushing the idea of devolution, arguing that they want Congress to abdicate its transportation funding responsibility so state officials scrambling for transportation revenue would be more likely to pursue interstate tolls.
“They want even more of the public’s treasure and they see tolls as a vein from which it can be bled,” ATFI spokesman Julian Walker wrote.
Walker said devolution would “slough onto states” Washington’s responsibility to maintain interstates. Shifting that duty would neglect the federal government’s obligation to sustain its Interstate Highway System.
“Existing interstates were built and paid for with a dedicated federal gas tax, and they are maintained with money drivers still contribute when they fuel up,” Walker wrote. “A shift to devolution would burden states with an unfunded mandate. It would also cause double taxation of drivers if tolls on existing interstates result.”
NATSO is a founding member of the Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates.
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