• ITVI.USA
    15,433.470
    55.400
    0.4%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.727
    -0.016
    -0.6%
  • OTRI.USA
    20.850
    0.030
    0.1%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,408.360
    58.320
    0.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.280
    -0.020
    -0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.190
    0.050
    1.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.560
    -0.030
    -1.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.420
    0.090
    2.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.220
    0.050
    2.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.080
    0.000
    0%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    1.000
    0.8%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,433.470
    55.400
    0.4%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.727
    -0.016
    -0.6%
  • OTRI.USA
    20.850
    0.030
    0.1%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,408.360
    58.320
    0.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.280
    -0.020
    -0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.190
    0.050
    1.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.560
    -0.030
    -1.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.420
    0.090
    2.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.220
    0.050
    2.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.080
    0.000
    0%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    1.000
    0.8%
American Shipper

House approves user-fee hike for barge operators

An increase in the diesel fuel tax would go to pay for inland waterway improvements.

   The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed legislation that would increase by nine cents the Inland Waterways Tax on diesel fuel barge companies pay to help fund the cost of new lock and dam construction, and major rehabilitation.
   Inland waterway users for many years have asked Congress to raise the user fees for the trust fund by six to nine cents over the current 20-cent-per-gallon tax to address the backlog of repairs on the aging navigational system. Unscheduled lock closures are on the rise to allow for mechanical repairs, and shippers fear a major failure could significantly disrupt businesses that depend on bulk transport to survive.
   The user tax increase was attached to a larger bill addressing quality of life for disabled people.
   The legislation now goes to the Senate, but whether it will be taken up for debate in the short lame-duck session before lawmakers adjourn for the Christmas holiday is unclear.
   The Inland Waterways Tax, which is assessed on 12,000 miles of waters, generates between $75 million and $85 million per year for waterways infrastructure. The money is matched by the federal treasury. 
   The tax increase would generate an additional $27 million to $36 million in revenue, according to the Soy Transportation Coalition.
   “The nine-cent increase in the per-gallon barge fuel fee is something that is supported not only by the nation’s soybean farmers, but also by the commercial barge and towing operators who pay it. … We are pleased that the House passed this provision, and we call on the Senate to quickly do the same,” Ray Gaesser, president of the American Soybean Association, said in a statement.

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