Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - PolicyRecommendation Plaster
To: Senate Transportation Committee
From: Cassandra Plaster
Re: Equalize Federal Fuel Taxes
Considering the change in fuel technologies and the current status of the American economy,it is
imperative that the current state of federal fuel taxes be evaluated. Making a decision whichwill
positively affectcitizens and the economy alike is of upmost importance.
With the influx of new technologies, it is important the federal fuel tax becomes equalized. The
diesel tax has been higher than the gas tax foryears. This is because diesel has historically been
used in big rigs, trucks, R.V’s etcetera; all of whichare predominantly driven on highways and cause
the most damage to the asphalt on roads. Therefore, diesel has been taxed at a higher rate in order
to compensate forthe damage done to roadways,because 80% of fuel taxes are used to repair
roads and bridges. But in the era of frugalness and environmental consciousness, the American
consumer has begun to look forvehicles that are fuel efficientand have lower emissions. More
Americans are beginning to look to diesel vehicles forpersonal use. The higher diesel tax is
unwarranted forthese diesel powered passenger vehicles consumers are turning to in order to
meet their needs. Consider three options:
Pass H.R. 4321
Passing H.R. 4321 will eliminate the excise tax and raise diesel tax by 6.3 cents. Although this bill
would benefit large corporations and trucking companies. Passing this bill would be to punish
everyday Americans that are not causing damage to our nation’s roads and infrastructures.
Creating a performance based taxation system would benefit many consumers. Not only those who
drive diesel engine vehicles, but those who ownhybrids and more fuel efficientgas powered
vehicles as well.This system would take into account the purpose of the vehicle, fuel efficiency,
emissions, etc.The downfallof this system is the time, money and manpower that wouldhave to go
into planning, creating, and implementing a taxation plan of this magnitude.
Due to advancement in vehicle and fuel technologies, diesel is no longer exclusively for
infrastructure damaging vehicles. Many passenger cars owned by workingAmericans now run in
diesel and these citizens are being unfairly taxed forroad damage they have not created, not to
mention the fact that these new diesel engines have reduced emissions and better fuel economy
than those powered by gas. Equalizing the fueltax would be simple to implement. Simply lowerthe
diesel tax in line withthe gas tax, or have the twomeet in the middle.
With the creation of new emission standards a new era of the American car is quickly approaching.
Gas is becoming problematic to not only the American government but to its citizens as well.
Americans are becoming open to new ways of powering means of transportation, and this cannot
be ignored. It is important that our government be open to the idea of equalizing the fuel tax. The
demand for diesel passenger cars is on the rise due to the need for better fuel efficientand
environmentally friendly vehicles. It is the duty of the government to make these beneficial
technologies appealing to the public at large. These average Americans, your constituents, are being
penalized forbeing economically and environmentally conscious consumers by the excess diesel
tax. The group of consumers purchasing diesel engine passenger cars grew 30% in 2011 alone and
will continue to grow rapidly while auto makers race to meet the ever changing emissions
standards and consumer demand for more fuel efficientvehicles as gas prices continue to rise. It is
important that the Federal Government meet its consumers and industries halfway in order to
make this beneficial technology work foreveryone.