A House tax committee received mixed messages from business leaders Tuesday on the desirability for a border adjustment tax on imported goods. Target CEO Brian Cornell said the tax would shift the burden from large corporations to individual taxpayers, while former Wal-Mart CEO William Simon said the tax would help keep and create manufacturing jobs in the US.
Economists say that the taxes paid by tractor-trailers do not cover the damage they cause to roads. Robert Atkinson, the former chair of the National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission, believes Congress should adopt legislation that would charge for vehicle-miles-traveled along with a surcharge based on the weight of the truck, the roads it uses and the cargo it's hauling.
The Illinois Tollway's Customer Service and Planning Committee is recommending that a $25 million contract be awarded to CH2M Hill and Knight E/A to study a potential extension of Illinois Route 53. The full board will vote on the contract Thursday, and the study would look at ways to improve congestion in Lake and McHenry counties.
The Florida Department of Transportation has changed the name of the Tampa Bay Express project to Tampa Bay Next; it will add express toll lanes to the Howard Frankland Bridge and perhaps install 90 miles of toll lanes on interstates around Tampa. The agency said the project has been rebranded so options such as mass transit and bike lanes can be part of the transportation solution.
The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department is studying how to reduce congestion on Interstate 30 between Little Rock and Benton and is considering a managed toll lane, which would be a first for the state. The agency believes the high-occupancy vehicle lane would need to allow single-occupancy vehicles for a fee, and the study could be completed in June.
The Maine Turnpike Authority wants to install a toll plaza in York and has received approval for it as "the least environmentally damaging practicable alternative" from the Army Corps of Engineers. The agency wants to have cash lanes and open-road electronic toll collection, but the project still needs approval from the state's Department of Environmental Protection.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in India is developing a policy that will change the way it charges drivers for use of tolled highways. Instead of charging a flat rate that applies no matter how far a driver goes, the toll would be based only on miles driven.
The world's big oil companies are exploring changes to gas stations to adapt to different consumer habits and new technologies that threaten to upend the business of selling gas. Changes might include mobile apps to speed the refuel process, testing services that bypass the gas station and deliver fuel directly to consumers, and ways car sharing or autonomous vehicle use lead to oil companies operating car fleets.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus wants to be part of the debate about infrastructure spending and is proposing a $2 trillion spending package to upgrade the nation's roads, bridges and water systems. The group opposes the president's plan for private investment to spur infrastructure construction and says closing tax loopholes and making other changes to the tax code could fund the improvements.
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