This week, several legislators joined the bipartisan group supporting an infrastructure framework, and media reports contained leaked draft documents speculated to be the funding principles. The document called for incentives to privatize toll roads, asset recycling and the allowance of toll revenues to be used for other non-toll transportation systems as a means of funding infrastructure. Such policies stand in opposition to the principles of the Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates (ATFI). In response, ATFI issued the following statement which can be attributed to Communications Director Stephanie Kane:
“Tolling is an underhanded tax on the supply chain and the American public, not a user fee. Similarly, ‘asset recycling’ is a euphemism for taxation by tolling, in which public roads are leased to private operators who will charge far more for roads than they cost to build – draining everyday drivers to line the pockets of Wall Street and international investors.
Any attempt to expand tolling would violate President Biden’s pledge not to raise taxes on Americans making less than $400,000 annually. As we seek to recover from the devastating economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, tolls will exacerbate soaring inflation, hurt businesses trying to reopen and double tax Americans who already pay for roads with fuel taxes.
Loosening tolling restrictions amounts to the federal government shirking its responsibility to generate sustainable funding for roads. Financing through public-private partnerships does not address the long-term solvency problems of the Highway Trust Fund. Allowing states the ‘flexibility’ to toll in fact foists the infrastructure funding problem onto state and local governments and fragments our infrastructure system.
We look forward to working with Congress to further strengthen motorist protections and make the needed investments in our national interstate system without relying on tolls.”
To learn more about AFTI and join the Alliance please visit www.tollfreeinterstates.com. In addition to joining ATFI you can stay connected by following the Alliance on Twitter at @No2Tolls and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TollFreeInterstates