HOUSE JOINT MEMORIAL 4029
State of Washington 54th Legislature 1995 Regular Session
By Representatives K. Schmidt, R. Fisher, Hatfield, Cairnes, Hankins, D. Schmidt, Robertson, Brown, Ogden, Johnson, Elliot, Radcliff, Backlund, Benton, Sherstad and Blanton
Read first time 02/22/95. Referred to Committee on Transportation.
TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES, IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED:
We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:
WHEREAS, A safe and efficient national transportation system is essential to the nation's international competitiveness; key to domestic productivity; and vital to our quality of life; and
WHEREAS, despite the transportation investments promised in the enactment of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA), Congress has yet to fully fund the authorizations it contains for highways and transit; and
WHEREAS, The current levels of federal funding for the nation's highway and public transportation systems are inadequate to meet rehabilitation needs, to ensure the safety of the traveling public, to begin solving congestion and rural access problems, to conduct adequate transportation research programs, and to keep America competitive in a world economy; and
WHEREAS, The Federal motor fuel tax and aviation fuel tax have traditionally been regarded as user fees paid by transportation users, the proceeds of which are and will continue to be required to help meet America's transportation requirements; and
WHEREAS, The action to divert transportation user fees from documented transportation needs was taken by Congress despite strong support for placing the revenue in the Highway Trust Fund from the National Governors' Association, the United States Conference of Mayors, and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, in addition to many industry and transportation user organizations; and
WHEREAS, Use of the transportation fuel taxes for deficit reduction purposes places the burden of reducing the deficit on industry and individuals based predominantly on how may miles they travel, without taking into account their ability to pay; and because of the long distances that must be driven by many people and industries in some states as opposed to other states, great inequities are inherent in any proposal to utilize motor fuel taxes for deficit reduction purposes; and
WHEREAS, Inclusion of the transportation trust funds in the Unified Federal Budget subjects transportation programs to arbitrary expenditure ceilings, despite the fact that trust fund expenditures are fully financed by users, and do not contribute to the federal deficit; and
WHEREAS, In recent years the imposition of such budgetary limitations has resulted in a substantial build up of revenue in the trust funds, while states and local agencies have received less federal funding than authorized and available, and as a consequence, the nation's transportation needs are being inadequately addressed;
NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully urge Congress to:
(1) Invest the resources in the nation's transportation system needed to enable economic competitiveness and job creation, as a minimum by fully funding at the earliest possible time the ISTEA highway and transit authorizations;
(2) Recognize and reaffirm the traditional user-fee principle that has sustained the development of the national transportation system for more than 70 years, by reserving the transportation user fees now being collected for deficit reduction solely for future transportation purposes; and
(3) Act expeditiously to remove the Highway Trust Fund and Airport and Airway Trust Fund from the Unified Federal Budget.
BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the President and the Secretary of the United States Senate, to the Speaker and the Clerk of the United States House of Representatives, and to each member of this state's delegation to Congress.
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