While associations representing the commercial trucking industry support a general fuel tax to improve the U.S. roadways they rely on, they are fighting back on proposals that target trucks.
During a May 18 Senate Finance Committee hearing, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association submitted a letter to the lawmakers calling truck-only taxes, like one proposed by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), “discriminatory.”
"We write to share our opposition to any proposal that would impose a new and unproven truck-only vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax as a means to provide greater revenue for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF)," OOIDA wrote. "We are disappointed that this controversial and discriminatory proposal has resurfaced, as our industry has consistently supported increasing HTF revenue through equitable increases to existing user fees."
Cornyn during the hearing suggested that Class 7 and Class 8 commercial vehicles pay 25 cents per mile to help pay for infrastructure since “big trucks do six times more damage to roads and bridges than private vehicles,” he wrote on Twitter.
The American Trucking Association clapped back.
“Why does John Cornyn hate truckers?,” the association wrote on Twitter. “These are the men and women delivering milk, eggs, toilet paper and vaccines across the country. We don’t understand why he wants to tax the hardest working, most patriotic people in America."
Why does John Cornyn hate truckers? These are the the men and women delivering milk, eggs, toilet paper and vaccines across the country. We don’t understand why he wants to tax the hardest working, most patriotic people in America. 🚛🇺🇸 https://t.co/2Kp5hPKbTh— American Trucking (@TRUCKINGdotORG) May 20, 2021
ATA and OOIDA have long supported the fuel tax as the primary source of revenue for highway and road bridge improvement, but oppose the idea of a truck-only fuel tax.
Texas Trucking Association President John Esparza told Cornyn the industry would support an increase in the fuel tax that would not target commercial trucking, according to the East Texas Radio.