Dayton v. Kennedy

Returning Senator Mark Dayton to the Ranks of the Idle Rich in 2006

12/11/2004

Rep. Kennedy and the FAST Act

Congressman Mark Kennedy appeared this morning on The Taxpayer’s League Live radio show.

One topic he addressed was the House’s recently passed FAST Act (H.R. 1767, the Freeing Alternatives for Speedy Transportation Act), which Congressman Kennedy sponsored (the other sponsor being Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA)).

At its essence, the purpose of the act is to relieve congestion by allowing new interstate lanes to be funded via user fees, rather than gas taxes. Allaying fears of toll booths and fee permanence, Kennedy emphasized three key requirements of the Act:

1. User fees could apply only to new lanes, not existing lanes.
2. Fees must be charged electronically. Toll booths are not permitted.
3. Once a lane has been paid for, the fee must be removed.

As the Heritage Foundation noted when the Act was introduced, this is not only an excellent reform, it is also badly needed:

"If America is to build its way out of worsening traffic congestion, it will need sources of revenue other than the gasoline tax. Because of improvements in fuel efficiency and a slowdown in the growth of 'vehicle miles traveled,' gas tax revenues have not been keeping up with road investment costs. At the same time, existing statutory diversions of up to one-third of federal gas tax revenues to non-highway purposes limit the benefits of a tax hike."
- posted by Doug


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