Anti-Toll Lobbying Group Protests Interstate Tolls

Phil Cohen

As states look for new ways to fund highway and infrastructure upkeep, the potential for new tolls on existing interstates has led to the creation of a new anti-toll lobbying group.

The Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates (ATFI) was launched Friday as a joint effort between the major trucking industry associations and other businesses such as FedEx and UPS to highlight the negative impact that imposing tolls on existing interstates could have on all levels of the economy.

Current federal law bans tolls on existing interstates, except for an as-yet-unused program that would allow tolls on up to three approved interstates. The ban, enacted in 1956, applies to all interstates that existed at that time; new highways and new lanes of existing interstates can be designated as toll roads as long as proceeds are used for upkeep.

The interstate toll ban also prevents drivers on the interstate from paying double taxes for roads, as the federal tax on gas is also designated for infrastructure.

However, pressure from the tolling industry and the search for other ways to keep the Highway Trust Fund in the black may lead Congress to consider lifting the ban when they pass new highway legislation to replace the surface transportation bill that expires in October.

In addition to upholding the ban, ATFI members are encouraging Congress to repeal the pilot program mentioned above. Their contention is that tolling on interstate highways is inefficient and would increase the cost of doing business, raising prices for businesses and consumers – and, of course, doubling the tax that drivers would pay for their highways.

Proponents of lifting the tolling ban argue that tolls make sense to rebuild many of the currently covered highways that are now in need of repair or complete reconstruction. They also contend that lifting the ban would simply allow states the option to implement tolls rather than mandate them.

Even without new tolls, transportation costs are rising and can threaten your company’s ability to deliver loads on time. EZ Invoice Factoring can get your trucking company started with a freight bill factoring program that is customized to meet your needs and keep you on the road. Contact us to learn more about our trucking factoring services and to get a competitive proposal today!

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Phil Cohen

Phil is the owner of PRN Funding and sister company Factor Finders. He has been an authority in the factoring industry for over 20 years, serving on the board of directors for several factoring associations.

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