Smucker Introduces USER FEE Act

June 23, 2021
Press Release
Legislation would provide equity of funding to Highway Trust Fund through assessing of vehicle miles traveled user fee for electric and plug-in hybrids

Washington, D.C. —Rep. Lloyd Smucker (PA-11) introduced the USER FEE Act (Using Sustainable Energy Resources to Fund Equitable e-Transportation Act) which would establish a user fee for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles to equitably fund the Highway Trust Fund. The Highway Trust Fund is currently funded by federal fuel excise taxes and other fees; electronic vehicles do not pay into the Highway Trust Fund and thus do not help to repair the roads they drive on.

“Our nation’s crumbling roads and highways need investment to support maintenance of critical highway and road infrastructure.  Yet electronic vehicles, which are a growing share of cars on the road, contribute nothing to their upkeep. Congress needs to address the long-term solvency issues of the Highway Trust Fund by ensuring parity with the gas-powered vehicles. Funding for infrastructure projects, particularly highways and roads, have been user-fee driven for years and it is time for Congress to act to provide funding equity by ensuring electric vehicles are paying their fair share and contributing to the maintenance of the roads they drive on,” said Rep. Smucker. “Maintaining the status quo has become too expensive. We cannot continue to transfer hundreds of billions of dollars from the Treasury to the Highway Trust Fund. Kicking the can down the road means higher deficits and greater interest payments on the debt which crowds out funding for other important programs.”

The USER FEE Act would establish a user fee based of two cents per mile traveled for electric vehicles and one cent per mile traveled for plug-in hybrid vehicles. Under the legislation, the Department of Treasury is directed to work with states, which oversee and regulate vehicle registration, to voluntarily establish agreements to effectively administer these fees.

The Highway Trust Fund faces an estimated cumulative $109.7 billion shortfall over the next six fiscal years. Since 2008, the Highway Trust Fund has received transfers totaling $143.6 billion from the General Fund and other accounts, demonstrating a significant need to ensure the long-term sustainability of the fund. Increased combustion engine vehicle fuel efficiency has contributed to decreased fuel tax collections.

Click here for the text of the USER FEE Act.

Fast Facts:

  • 879,320the number of electric cars sold through 2019, according to the Department of Energy
  • 564,777the number of plug-in hybrid cars sold through 2019, according to according to the Department of Energy
  • 11,797 – the average number of miles traveled by motor vehicles, according to US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration
  • 78% - of individuals who claimed the electric vehicle tax credit making over $100,000
  • 0.75 cents the effective federal fuel excise tax per mile traveled in 2018, according to the Tax Foundation, down from 1.51 cents in 1994.  

 

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