Trumps Says He’s Willing To Increase The Gas Tax

President Donald Trump said he will explore the possibility of higher gasoline and diesel fuel taxes, suggesting an increase could pay for his ambitious infrastructure plan.

“It’s something that I would certainly consider,” Trump told Bloomberg News in an interview.

The president indicated that the additional money would be directed toward highway construction and repair. That’s been a problem area because fuel taxes have been unchanged since 1993 and created financial challenges for preserving the Highway Trust Fund.

The federal government currently finances its trust fund with an 18.4 cents per gallon tax on gasoline and a 24.4 cents per gallon tax on diesel fuel, neither of which are adjusted for inflation so the revenues raised has effectively fallen over time.

To keep a positive balance in the trust fund, lawmakers have injected an additional $143 billion into it since 2008, according to a report last year by the Congressional Budget Office. Highway-related tax revenue raised just $37.4 billion in fiscal 2015, meaning that maintenance has been deferred as potholes and traffic jams have worsened.

It’s a rare tax increase that enjoys support from the businesses most likely to bear the higher costs.

The U.S. trucking industry — which shoulders roughly half the cost of the fuel taxes — would welcome an increase if it’s dedicated to fixing infrastructure. The industry benefits because better roads reduce travel times, curb the frequency of vehicle repairs and improve roadway safety.

“The cost of doing nothing is more expensive than a higher fuel tax,” said Chris Spears, president of the American Trucking Association.

The ATA, the Truckload Carriers Association and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association all support higher gas and diesel taxes, OOIDA as long as all funds collected go to only to highways.

“As an industry that pays half of the tab that funds the Highway Trust Fund we welcome a discussion around tax reform and how best to generate the additional revenue we need to improve our roads and bridges so we can continue to safely and efficiently move 70 percent of the nation’s freight,” said Sean McNally, ATA’s vice president of public affairs and press secretary.

USA Truck Named a Most Valuable Employer for Military by RecruitMilitary

USA Truck Inc. is a winner for the 2017 Most Valuable Employers for Military. Awarded by RecruitMilitary, MVE recognition serves to help military-experienced job seekers identify top employers to target for civilian careers.

“It’s an honor to serve U.S. veterans, and we are grateful that our efforts are being recognized by such a prominent group,” says James D. Reed, president and CEO. “We make a special effort to recruit veterans and transitioning military members to our team.”

“Veterans truly represent the finest talent our country has to offer,” said Peter Gudmundsson, president of RecruitMilitary. “Judging by the stature of the businesses that comprise the Most Valuable Employers for Military winners, we can see that organizations thrive when they include veteran hiring initiatives in their human resource strategies.”

The 2017 Most Valuable Employers for Military, presented by Vinnell Arabia, was open to all U.S.-based companies. In observance of Armed Forces Day, the annual list of MVEs will be released in the May/June issue of RecruitMilitary’sSearch & Employmagazine. Winning employers will also be displayed on the web site.

Preliminary Class 8 Orders for April at 23,600 Units, a 4% Increase Over March

FTR said preliminary Class 8 net orders for April were 23,600 units, maintaining a steady track that started seven months ago.

While OEM activity was modestly better for some and down marginally for others month-over-month, April orders met expectations with a 4 percent increase over March and up 77 percent versus a year ago.

Fleets are expecting better freight conditions in the second half of the year and current order activity reflects that, said Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles at FTR.

Backlogs should increase in April, getting close to where they were a year ago.  Class 8 orders for the past six months now annualize to 262,000 units, he said.

“The order pattern continues to track a sustained, normal pattern.  In this order cycle, the fleets did not place all the big orders in October and November,” Ake said. “They all didn’t jump into the pool at once.  Some fleets did order at that time, but since then, fleets have placed orders in a more measured, steady fashion as they became more confident about 2017.  There should be one more month of good orders before the traditional summer break.”

Ake said the Class 8 market continued to show some solid momentum as orders remain at good levels and production is starting to rise.

“This is a typical moderate market recovery,” he said.  “The orders increased first, then production and then the actual sales.  Truck sales were weak in the first quarter, but so was the economy.  Freight growth is increasing, and the fleets see this and are responding to this trend.  This market continues to track the 2013 upswing with modest growth creating a positive environment for the OEMs.”