Senate Finance Committee Options for Highway Trust Fund Revenue

AGC is part of fluid discussions with key senators, committee staffers, and other stakeholder organizations about a proposal to fund the $287 billion highway bill, known as America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA), that was unanimously approved by the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee last summer. In addition to the Senate Finance Committee needing to identify a way to fund ATIA, two other Senate committees, the Banking Committee and Commerce Committee, must still act on their portions of the surface transportation reauthorization bill. 

The proposal being discussed by key senators includes the following components: a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) fee on commercial trucks; an annual fee on electric vehicles; and indexing the federal gas and diesel taxes to inflation. While the broad outline of the proposal has been shared with AGC and other stakeholders, legislative language or additional details such as how much funding the proposal would actually raise and how it would be administered have not been released to date.

Meanwhile, the consideration of a VMT fee on commercial trucks is sharply dividing the broad transportation builder, user, and business stakeholder community. This divide threatens to undermine the political viability of not only a VMT fee on commercial trucks, but also the viability of a more impactful VMT fee on all vehicles. It may also hinder the ability to enact a surface transportation reauthorization bill prior to the expiration of the FAST Act on September 30, 2020.  

Again, these discussions are ongoing and AGC continues to advocate for congressional action on a surface transportation reauthorization bill this year. To date, AGC has not taken a position on a VMT fee on commercial trucks because legislative language and specific details are currently unavailable. AGC will update you and seek your input as details are unveiled and verified.