Source: ARA news release

According to the Agricultural Retailers Association, a panel created by Congress and charged with advising lawmakers on how to pay for the nation's highway and transit systems has called for Congress to enact a 10-cent per gallon increase in the gas tax and 15-cent per gallon increase in the diesel tax. This tax increase will be proposed in the next surface transportation reauthorization bill, which is due to be addressed this spring. The current highway bill expires Sept. 30.

This language would also pave the way to convert to a system of charging people according to how many miles they drive by 2020. The National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission, authorized by the 2005 highway bill, also recommended indexing the fuels tax to inflation going forward and increasing taxes on heavy truck use and indexing that tax and the tax on truck tire sales to inflation. This report came after the White House announced that a traveled fee based on vehicle miles is not a policy supported by the Obama Administration because it would require placing tracking devices in taxpayers' vehicles, a concept critics criticize as an invasion of privacy.

ARA is opposed to a vehicle mileage traveling tax. American farmers, retailers and distributors should not be penalized for their rural locations, ARA said.