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MEMA Supports Long-Term Highway Trust Fund Solution, Announces Funding Principles

Safe, modern highway network is critical to motor vehicle component suppliers, MEMA says.


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Steve Handschuh, president and CEO of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), has stated that passage of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and the Highway Trust Fund is a top legislative priority for the association and the more than 1,000 motor vehicle component suppliers it represents.
“MEMA supports a multi-year, long-term Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Highway Trust Fund, and we urge members of the House and the Senate to address this issue now, before the Fund runs out of money this summer,” Handschuh said.
“The Highway Trust Fund has a direct impact on all members of MEMA’s divisions – the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), the Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA), the Motor & Equipment Remanufacturers Association (MERA) and the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA),” Handschuh explained. “Our members’ products are produced, manufactured and delivered by light- and heavy-duty vehicles that travel on our nation’s roads, highways and bridges. The Highway Trust Fund needs increased revenue to pay for repairs to existing roads and bridges, and to fund new projects needed in a growing economy.”
In recent years, short-term extensions of the Highway Trust Fund have not kept pace with increased construction costs and demand for highway projects, Handschuh noted. “As a result, our existing highways and bridges are in need of repair, and our broader surface transportation infrastructure needs to be modernized,” he said.
MEMA has developed the following principles regarding the Highway Trust Fund:
* The continuation and increase of the motor fuel tax as the primary funding source for the Highway Trust Fund, annually adjusted to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or other appropriate economic measurements to keep pace with inflation and construction costs.
* Other funding methods, such as public-private partnerships and an Infrastructure Bank should be considered as options that can complement the Highway Trust Fund and state highway projects. However, any additional funding mechanisms should balance the needs of the entire motor vehicle community.
* Continued use of the motor fuel tax is a more equitable funding source than a mileage-based fees (Vehicle Miles Traveled tax) or highway tolls, which could place an unfair burden on some highway users and add to increased congestion and travel delays.
“A strong bipartisan effort is needed in this effort, such as the proposal recently announced by Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) to raise the tax by six cents per year over two years to fully fund a six-year highway bill,” Handschuh said. “We urge Congress to work together on this issue because a network of modern, efficient and safe highways is critical to the U.S. economy, and to maintaining the competiveness of MEMA members in a global economy.”


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