During the Senate Finance Committee’s hearing last week, Senator Cornyn (R-TX) asked the Committee to consider a truck-only Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) tax as means of financial support for a comprehensive infrastructure package.
Last Tuesday marked at least the second time the “Cornyn Tax” – as it come to be known – was floated by the Lone Star State lawmaker, having previously floated the idea in 2019 to support a five-year highway bill. In theory, the tax could motor carriers to pay 25-cents for every mile driven. The mileage would be tracked via government-mandated devices that report the data back to the IRS.
The idea was immediately lambasted by trucking stakeholders, including Texas Trucking Association President and CEO John D. Esparza.
Tuesday, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) penned a joint letter to Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden and Ranking Member Mike Crapo, expressing their collective and “vehement opposition to any truck-only funding scheme that singles out truckers for the purposes of filling the nation’s infrastructure funding gap.”
“Placing a disproportionate burden on the backs of truckers to avoid Highway Trust Fund insolvency is shortsighted, inequitable, discriminatory against the industry, and deeply concerning to the millions of essential workers in trucking who have kept our nation fed, clothed, and with access to medicine throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” read the letter co-signed by OOIDA President and CEO Todd Spencer and ATA President and CEO Chris Spear.
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