URGENT ACTION ALERT!

Posted on March 3, 2019 · Posted in TMTA Flash
Oppose 29 cent Diesel Tax Increase and 100% Truck Registration
Fee Increase
Although no specific details have been provided, we have learned more 
about the truck-only tax and fee increases being pushed in the General
Assembly. Since the Action Alert sent out last week,  The Northam Admin-istration is pushing “A New Fair Plan for Interstate 81 and Restoring
Northern Virginia Transportation Authority funding.” Their plan calls for a $257 million a year tax and fee increase on the trucking industry
generated by: A statewide 29 cents per gallon increase in the diesel
tax from 23.7 cents per gallon to 52.7 cents per gallon and an $11.44 per 1,000 lbs. increase in the truck registration fee from $1,342 per year to $2,257 for an 80,000 lbs. tractor truck.    These tax and fee increases could be included in the state budget bill or the conference report on the I-81
study bills (HB 2718 & SB 1716). Enacting this tax and registration fee
increase this way will be done without a committee hearing or debate.    All members need to contact their Delegates and Senators ASAP (no
later than the end of the day on Thursday, February 21!) and urge
them to oppose the massive diesel tax and truck registration fee
increases being proposed by the Northam Administration.   The
Administration’s propaganda states “The Virginia Trucking Association
has noted that ‘the Commonwealth is leaving money on the table through low diesel taxes and truck registration fees’ to imply our support for their plan.  Thus, you must act on Thursday to contact your delegates and
senators to let them know that while the trucking industry supports
the diesel tax to pay our fair share of a funding solution for I-81 that
includes all users, we cannot support this kind of massive tax and fee increase!   Representatives of the Governor’s office and the Secretary of Transportation along with a team of lobbyists representing the Virginia
Transportation Construction Alliance are intensely lobbying members of the General Assembly to support this plan. They must hear from you
and your customers about how these draconian increases will
impact their freight transportation costs in Virginia! (Please share
this alert with your customers who have freight transported in or
through Virginia)  

Click here to find your legislators and their contact
information using your address/zip code. The following are key conferees that you should contact, especially if they represent where you live or
where any of your business facilities are located.  

House Budget Conferees  
S. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk) – (804) 698-1076 – DelCJones@house.virginia.gov
R. Steven “Steve” Landes (R-Augusta Co.) – (804) 698-1025 – DelSLandes@house.virginia.gov
Christopher K. Peace (R-Hanover Co.) – (804) 698-1097 – DelCPeace@house.virginia.gov
Barry D. Knight (R-Virginia Beach) – (804) 698-1081 – DelBKnight@house.virginia.gov
T. Scott Garrett (R-Lynchburg) – (804) 698-1023 – DelSGarrett@house.virginia.gov
Luke E. Torian (D-Prince William Co.) – (804) 698-1052 – DelLTorian@house.virginia.gov
Mark D.Sickles (D-Arlington) – (804) 698-1043 – DelMSickles@house.virginia.gov  

Senate Budget Conferees  
Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R-James City Co.) – (804) 698-7503 – district03@senate.virginia.gov
Emmett W. Hanger, Jr. (R-Augusta Co.) – (804) 698-7524 – district24@senate.virginia.gov
Janet D. Howell (D-Northern Fairfax) – (804) 698-7532 – district32@senate.virginia.gov
Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax) – (804) 698-7535 – district35@senate.virginia.gov
Stephen D. Newman (R-Bedford Co.) – (804) 698-7523 – district23@senate.virginia.gov
Frank M. Ruff, Jr. (R-Mecklenburg Co.) – (804) 698-7515 – district15@senate.virginia.gov
Frank W. Wagner (R-Virginia Beach) – (804) 698-7507 – district07@senate.virginia.gov  

House Conferees on HB 2718/SB 1716  
R. Steven “Steve” Landes (R-Augusta Co.) – (804) 698-1025 – DelSLandes@house.virginia.gov
C. Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah Co.) – (804) 698-1015 – DelTGilbert@house.virginia.gov
Betsy B. Carr (D-Richmond City) – (804) 698-1069 – DelBCarr@house.virginia.gov  

Senate Conferees on SB 1716/HB 2718  
Charles W. (Bill) Carrico, Sr. (R-Grayson Co.) – (804) 698-7540 – district40@senate.virginia.gov
Mark D. Obenshain (R-Rockingham Co.) – (804) 698-7526 – district26@senate.virginia.gov
John S. Edwards (D-Roanoke City) – (804) 698-7521 – district21@senate.virginia.gov
Background and Talking Points   ·     

·     The Virginia Trucking Association has consistently stated that the
trucking industry is willing to pay its fair share of an overall funding
package to pay for improvements to I-81 in which all users who benefit
from the improvements also pay their fair share. Targeting one industry and their customers to pay 100% of taxes and fees for additional transportation funding is not fair by any stretch of the imagination. The massive diesel tax and fee increase proposed by the Northam Admin-
istration is simply unfair and punitive.

·     Trucks transport 88% of all manu-factured freight moved in Virginia. 
This massive tax increase will be passed on to these truck-dependent
businesses, which will put them at a significant competitive disadvan-
tage.

·     Over 86% of Virginia communities depend exclusively on trucks to move their goods. Huge increases in transportation costs will result in the citizens of those communities paying much higher prices on just about
everything they use in their day to day lives.

·     There has been a complete lack of transparency in this last minute effort by the Northam Administration to pass these massive tax and fee
increases. Offers by the trucking industry to discuss with the Admin-
istration funding options that do not include tolling that we could support were not accepted. Statewide diesel tax or truck registration fees were
never publicly considered as part of last year’s I-81 study and not
included in the funding options presented at the public hearings.

·     There has been no assessment of the economic impact of these
massive tax and fee increases on Virginia’s agriculture, manufacturing,
distribution, retail and other truck-dependent industries and
businesses.

·     There has been no assessment of the economic impact of these
massive tax and fee increases on current business and future growth at the Port of Virginia. This is important because trucks transport 62% of
the cargo moved through the Port of Virginia and the General Assembly has made significant investments in Virginia’s port facilities. 

·     We support the current, amended versions of HB 2718/SB 1716 that do not include tolling and create an I-81 Committee to make funding and project prioritization recommendations to the 2020 Session of the
General Assembly. The massive diesel tax and truck registration fee
increases proposed by the Northam Administration need to be rejected so the I-81 Committee can consider all options for funding I-81, the
economic impact of those options and hear input from the public and
stakeholder -organizations.    

Contact Dale Bennett at dbennett@vatrucking.org for any questions or
to report any feedback from your legislators.