All public roads and highways are maintained by the federal governments Federal Highway Trust Fund. The Federal Highway Trust Fund is financed through fuel taxes and highway use taxes, such as the Heavy Highway Vehicle Tax. The funds that are generated by taxing heavy highway vehicles is used to pay for the nation’s transportation infrastructure. Nearly $35 billion is transferred to the Federal Highway Trust Fund to make repairs and build new roads, highways, and bridges when they are needed. Without this tax, many of the nation’s transportation infrastructures would not be able to be properly maintained. It is well known that the heavier a vehicle is, the more wear and tear is presents to the roads, highways, and bridges. Thus, the Heavy Highway Vehicle Tax was instituted.
Cost of Well Maintained Infrastructure
The Federal government estimates that every $1 shortfall in collections is approximately $4 that cannot be spent to fix problems in the transportation infrastructures across America. That would be approximately $12 billion that cannot be spent on areas that severely need road construction work. This money can saves lives by constructing easily accessible lanes for emergency vehicles on older highways or even save you money on truck repairs due to driving consistently over poorly maintained or damaged roads. The Highway Trust Fund can also save you from excessive time spent sitting idle in traffic on roads that need to be improved or expanded.
The Importance of the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax
The relationship between axel weight and pavement damage is based on many variables including environmental conditions, terrain type, and roadway design. It is estimated that doubling the axel load causes up to 50 times more damage and deterioration to transportation infrastructure. This is why the heaviest vehicles are charged the largest amount in taxes. A lighter truck does not do as much damage; therefore it should not be taxes as heavily to repair the roads, highways, and bridges. In order to fully protect our nation’s transportation infrastructure, it is absolutely necessary to collect taxes from all heavy vehicle owners. Without this tax, the Federal government would have to rely solely on fuel taxes. Fuel taxes only cover about 12% of the need funding to ensure the nation has the ability to keep up with the transportation infrastructure repair demands.
The Federal Highway Administration
As mentioned in Part 699 of the Federal-aid Policy Guide that states it is required for the Federal Highway Administration to review the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax at least once every three years for each state to ensure that funding is not falling short for that particular state. If reviews are not conducted properly, the state and the nation could potentially lose out on millions of dollars in funding that should be allocated for the countries transportation infrastructure. It is the duty of every heavy vehicle owner to be in compliance with the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax to ensure that all roads, highways, and bridges are properly maintained for safe travels to keep your business going.