The Highway Materials Group commends Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Robert Corker (R-TN) on their bipartisan proposal to ensure funding of the nation’s surface transportation system into the future by increasing the federal motor fuels tax by 12 cents.

In light of the pending insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund, this proposal finally addresses the longer term revenue issues. To prevent the burden of the motor fuels increase from falling so heavily on hardworking men and women, popular tax breaks would be permanently extended.

In unveiling the proposal, Sen. Murphy said, “I think on our side of the aisle we recognize that it’s time to stop talking theoretically and start talking really in practical terms.” He added that only if it is bipartisan can the proposal move through the Senate. After noting lawmakers should be embarrassed for letting things get to this point, Sen. Corker talked about backbone: “If Americans feel that having modern roads and bridges is important, then Congress should have the courage to pay for it.”

Under the plan, the gas tax would be increased 6 cents over each of the next two years and indexed to inflation using the Consumer Price Index to ensure that it remains viable into the future. It is expected to raise $164 billion over 10 years. According to the senators, the tax increase would be offset by extending several popular tax breaks.

The proposal adheres to funding principles that the Highway Materials Group has circulated to lawmakers, including maintaining the integrity of the user fee-based funding mechanism and ensuring long-term stability and solvency of the Highway Trust Fund. It also reinforces that the federal government has a significant role in providing for a strong and efficient national surface transportation system, something our Founding Fathers acknowledged as well in Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution.

The Highways Materials Group is composed of the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, the National Asphalt Pavement Association, the Portland Cement Association, the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, the American Concrete Pavement Association and the Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute. The group looks forward to working with Senators Murphy, Corker and other members of Congress to ensure the efficiency and cost effectiveness of America’s surface transportation network, which is essential to business enterprise, economic growth, global competitiveness and the way of life Americans enjoy.