Coalition Letter to House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee on "Running Empty: The Highway Trust Fund" Hearing
Thank you for today’s hearing examining the financial solvency of the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) and potential solutions, including the creation and implementation of a national vehicle miles traveled (VMT) program, titled “Running Empty: The Highway Trust Fund”. The undersigned organizations represent a diverse set of transportation stakeholders, all of whom support augmenting the current HTF user-fee system to ensure financial solvency ahead of the next multi-year surface transportation reauthorization law. HTF revenues have long struggled to meet increasing infrastructure investment needs. Federal motor fuels taxes have remained stagnant since 1993, with the prospects of an increase dim. Instead, Congress has chosen to provide General Fund and other transfers to keep the HTF solvent, totaling $275 billion since 2008. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the HTF will require another $150 billion in revenues to pay for continued spending at baseline levels from 2027-2031, not including additional resources that will be necessary to maintain advance appropriations investments included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). Congress must consider a long-term solution to ensure HTF viability and the future health of our surface transportation system, while maintaining the user fee principle upon which the HTF is founded. A VMT or mileage-based user fee to replace all current motor fuel taxes and fees can certainly be a potential solution, and work has been underway to explore feasibility.