MTAC signed on to a letter sent to Congress, which opposes sending taxpayer money to toll road operators. The letter to Congress says, in part, “As America’s conveyor belt, our highway system, which trucks utilize to move 71% of the nation’s freight, must continue to be maintained and improved. The significant loss of revenue due to a precipitous drop-off in fuel purchases is straining transportation department budgets and has forced states to delay or cancel thousands of transportation projects.
We join with state transportation departments and other groups to support additional federal funding to ensure that projects are not delayed or canceled. However, we are concerned that a request from the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Authority for $9.245 billion in federal subsidies for tolling authorities could jeopardize the allocation of funds for state departments of transportation.
Unlike transportation agencies, most tolling authorities have the ability to ride out this crisis. Privately-financed and publicly controlled toll facilities are funded through complex financial deals that have many factors contributing to their ability to endure short-term revenue drops, including overall liquidity levels, reserve accounts for debt service payments, existing cash on hand, and financial instruments securing their obligations to the public.
Congress should focus on using public funds to protect the average American worker with direct investments in infrastructure rather than spending taxpayer dollars on sophisticated entities like project financiers.”