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U.S. Chamber Urges Timely Transportation Solution

July 23, 2009

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has taken a strong position on the need to address deficiencies in the nation’s transportation infrastructure.

Thomas J. Donahue, U.S. Chamber president, led more than 100 business leaders from 28 states to Capitol Hill last week to oppose an 18-month delay in enactment of multiyear legislation to authorize road, bridge and transit improvements. The Obama administration has proposed the delay and opposes increasing the federal gasoline tax.

Donahue said the business community would support an increase in the federal gasoline tax, explaining that business people see it more as a user fee than a tax.

“Let’s not play these games of delay and dodge,” Donahue said. “We need to get on with this.”

PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner noted that, while there is growing consensus that the consumption-based federal and state gas taxes eventually should be replaced with a miles-traveled fee, the trust fund that pays for highway improvements needs replenishment long before that could happen.

“It is encouraging to see that the business community recognizes that a sound transportation system is a key ingredient to a sound economy,” Wagner said. “On top of that, there seems to be growing support for addressing these needs sooner rather than later. The sooner we get to work and begin creating construction jobs, the more quickly the economy will rebound, and the better off we’ll be over the long term as well.”

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