The Truckers are Not Happy with Rhode Island
ARLINGTON, VA -- May 28, 2015: Today, the American Trucking Associations urged rejection of a truck-only toll scheme proposed by Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo this week.
"ATA is very disappointed with Governor Raimondo's proposal to address Rhode Island's infrastructure investment deficit solely on the back of the trucking industry," said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. "Trucking did not create the state's current infrastructure crisis – that was the result of years of mismanagement and massive diversion of fuel tax and other highway user fee revenue to fund general government expenses – and it is completely unfair that the industry be targeted to fix it."
ATA has long opposed tolling of existing interstates as inefficient and unsafe as it is well-known to lead to trucks diverting off larger interstates onto smaller, more congested local highways.
"As a former governor, I understand the importance of not only properly funding infrastructure, but maintaining the state's fiscal house," Graves said. "However, this plan to toll only trucks is quite literally highway robbery – stealing from our industry to paper over Rhode Island's budget issues.
"If Rhode Island's leaders are serious about fixing their infrastructure funding woes, they should first and foremost, stop diverting much of their highway-related revenues to non-transportation projects," he said. "Like nearly half the states have done previously, the state should enact a law that protects highway related revenues from being used for non-highway or transportation projects. Then they will have an accurate sense of what, if any, funding shortfall really exists before embarking on some enormously expensive, inefficient, easy to evade and discriminatory form of tax scheme."