Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell is urging Congress to lift the ban on interstate tolling as a method of increasing revenues into the Highway Trust Fund.
Speaking on behalf of Building America’s Future, an organization that he co-founded with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, before a Joint Economic Committee, Rendell said Congress should lift the ban as well as incorporate truck tolling to more adequately cover the costs of highway use.
According to testimony last week from the Congressional Budget Office, the Highway Trust Fund will hit insolvency in 2015 if Congress fails to find new sources of revenue. That year, there will be about $50 billion in outlays from the trust fund, but only $40 billion in receipts.
The last surface transportation bill, MAP-21, spent $54 billion per year and is set to expire Sept. 30, 2014. The gas tax currently brings in $35 billion annually.
NATSO soundly rejects the idea of tolling existing interstate highways and thinks the collection of the motor fuels tax should remain the primary method of funding the nation’s infrastructure.
During his tenure as the Governor of Pennsylvania, Rendell fought to toll Interstate 80 under a Federal Highway Administration tolling pilot project.
After three attempts, the effort was defeated when the applications were rejected for failing to meet the objectives of the Department of Transportation program under which the applications were submitted.
This article originally ran in NATSO News, 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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