In a letter to Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association attacked Indiana’s 35% increase to truck tolls on the Indiana Toll Road, calling them ineffective, punitive, and discriminatory.
“A truck-only toll increase smacks of a betrayal of reasonable public policy,” said Todd Spencer, president of OOIDA. “We are also appalled at the lack of transparency associated with a proposal that will no doubt fail to solve the state’s serious history of financial problems and bad decisions regarding infrastructure and transportation.”
Gov. Holcomb announced the toll increase for heavy vehicles with three or more axles traveling on the Indiana Toll Road earlier this month. The increase is scheduled for implementation on Oct. 5. The state plans to use the increase to pay for needed infrastructure repairs and improvements in the state.
OOIDA also took issue with comments the governor made regarding trucks causing far more damage to roads than passenger vehicles, indicating that truckers were lucky the increase wasn’t higher. The group stated that trucking is a small-business industry with most fleets comprised of fewer than 20 trucks. An increased toll would only put a financial burden on the smallest fleets that often have the smallest margins, according to OOIDA.
“Despite your absurd and unsubstantiated claims, truckers already pay more than their fair-share in transportation-related taxes. As much as the government likes to treat them as such, truckers are not rolling piggy banks,” said Spencer.
The group expressed concern about the disruption and congestion that truck traffic diverting around the toll roads could bring to surrounding communities. Spencer went further, stating that the increase could threaten the viability of the toll road itself.
“Our Interstate Highway System was built to provide citizens of this nation with the ability to move about freely, including the ability to transport freight in an efficient and affordable manner for the benefit of all Americans and our economy,” said Spencer. “Indiana, through the leasing of the ITR, has unequivocally jeopardized this system.”