Open Letter to the House of Representatives: End Wasteful Mass Transit Account

Running a little behind, car 2029 leads Acela 2165 through Odenton en route to Washington, DC
Running a little behind, car 2029 leads Acela 2165 through Odenton en route to Washington, DC
July 14, 20174:16 pm

Dear Representatives:

We the undersigned organizations, representing millions of Americans, urge you to co-sponsor the “Highway Restoration Act of 2017,” HR 2391, introduced by Representative Mark Sanford (R-SC). This legislation would phase out the Highway Trust Fund’s Mass Transit Account, ending this ongoing misuse of federal gas tax dollars and creating a more sustainable path for the Highway Trust Fund.

The Highway Trust Fund receives a majority of its funding from taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel, rooted in a user-pay assumption that these revenues will be used for federal highway construction and maintenance. The Mass Transit Account violates this model by diverting billions of dollars to fund everything from street cars to light rail systems. Indeed, the Mass Transit Account represents the second-largest expenditure from the Highway Trust Fund, just after the Highway Account. These largely local, municipally controlled systems subsidize the activities of users who don’t pay into the underlying fund.

With the Highway Trust Fund facing increasing shortfalls and creating a growing drain on already-stretched general revenues, Congress needs to rethink its approach to highway funding. The best place to start is by eliminating this wasteful federal subsidy for local mass transit projects. HR 2391 could save taxpayers tens of billions of dollars and restore solvency to the Highway Trust Fund. We urge all Representatives to cosponsor the “Highway Restoration Act of 2017.”

Sincerely,

Brandon Arnold, Executive Vice President
National Taxpayers Union

Lisa B. Nelson, CEO
ALEC Action

Phil Kerpen, President
American Commitment

Dan Schneider, Executive Director
American Conservative Union

Norm Singleton, President
Campaign for Liberty

Andrew F. Quinlan, President
Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Jeffrey Mazzella, President
Center for Individual Freedom

David McIntosh, President
Club for Growth

Jonathan Bydlak, President
Coalition to Reduce Spending

Tom Schatz, President
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Mark Scribner, Senior Fellow
Competitive Enterprise Institute

Adam Brandon, President
FreedomWorks

Heather R. Higgins, President and CEO
Independent Women’s Voice

David Williams, President
Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Judson Phillips, Founder
Tea Party Nation