Get Ready For New Tolls, Taxes, And More In 2014

    As state transportation departments struggle to keep our country’s infrastructure maintained and budgets keep shrinking, many states have turned to new tolls, taxes, and more inventive ways to keep themselves afloat. One hot button issue is the public-private partnerships (P3 deals) that see private firms investing in public transportation projects in exchange for the right to collect tolls on the road they fund.

    According to an industry forecast report by Fitch Ratings, states will likely continue to increase tolls and taxes and enter into programs like P3 deals in order to make ends meet until their budgets can be revitalized.


    “We’re already seeing states raising fees of all kinds on transportation users and we expect to see more of that over the next year,” said Eric Kim, Fitch’s director of public finance in an interview with Fleet Owner. “We don’t have specific prospects for what kinds of fees exactly, but state governments are certainly moving in that direction.”

    Even though there is no solid data that Kim can point to, he says that Fitch expects that P3 deals will become increasingly popular. Kim pointed out that “Two-thirds of states currently have P3 enabling legislation in place, and given the size of future capital needs, Fitch expects transportation P3s to continue to rise in 2014.”

    It’s not only existing toll roads that may be seeing fare hikes. According to Emma Griffith, one of Fitch’s Directors, uncertainty at the federal level as MAP-21 is set to expire may put pressure on states to place new tolls on previously non-tolled roads.

    “Federal funding to state DOTs is down 22%, including a 7% cut due to sequestration, which is leading states to implement new [fuel] taxes, fees, and P3s to maintain and expand roadways,” said Griffith. “It’s all related to that growing lack of federal funding.”

     

    Next Story: Short- Haul Drivers Get 30-Minute Break Exemption Clarified

    Source: fleetowner, fitchratings

    { 14 comments… read them below or add one }

    john December 19, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    this is a big time scam. They plundered the public purse into so many pockets, of course there is going to be a deficit. INstead tax the truck drivers and trucking companies and then pass the cost onto the pubic. A great get rich scheme. THe roads will still be what chicken feed is to chicken. Just enough for drivers to survive.

    Reply

    Ray December 19, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    It doesn’t surprise me. If they can’t make enough busting those who run illegally stick it to those who run legally. Stuff like this makes me hesitate to become an o/o.

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    Steve December 20, 2013 at 7:54 am

    We need to pass ALL of the new tolls and ALL expenses including fuel costs onto the customers. Until everybody starts feeling the pinch of higher transportation costs they will keep using us as piggy banks. When people start seeing 5 dollar toothbrushes and milk for 9 bucks a gallon it will start to sink in.

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    Paul Brittell December 21, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    How much do you think the customers can handle, before they just say the hell with it. You stop to eat, and a burger is now $15.00 instead of the usual $8.50. Then you know how the “customer” will feel, when it’s passed on. What we need is for the government to slow down spending money, and for obama to stop sending millions out of this Country to every 3rd world country. The government spends, prints, spend prints sooner or later the whole show will come crashing down, AND then you won’t have to worry about passing it on. There will be nothing to pass on

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    Ted Savage December 27, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Good post Steve, I agree with you, we all know which end of the toilet shaft truck drivers and the trucking companies are in the eyes of the media who always tries to sensationalize anything and everything plus all these lawyers begging for business if a truck got anywhere near you. Then of course you have all these state and federal politicians who think that every penny anyone earns by their work should be given to this or that government agency.

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    Wayne December 20, 2013 at 8:38 am

    I work for a owner op,we run loose leaf logs but i keep my situation straight when i need to run hard,fuel prices,tolls etc etc this industry aint gonna change but when they do fineally tear up the truckin industry 100% then all thats out here is the handfull of big companies sn they eat it up that they got computer logs an they cant get nowhere plus ehen folks have poor safety record cause lack of training an u got drivers that take a damn hour to back up somewhere then it will serve um right for makein all these big quote unquote decisions to limit stuff so i dont feel sorry for anybody,i will just tuff it out an when all goes down just go back offshore an still b ok

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    Cynthia & David December 20, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Figures.. Typical government. As on owner op team with my spouse, you just got to really know your sh** when it comes to being on the road, know your way around and the fuel prices ahead etc. so annoyed with people saying things like this make me hesitate being an owner op or this is the reason I don’t owner op, so you’re content being a little company driver making a certain amount? Just play your cards right and you do just fine and sh** like this doesn’t even phase you!

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    Ray December 20, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Most o/o are forced out of the business. 70% of restaurants go out of business in the first five years and according to Fortune Trucking business’ have the #1 failure rate. Hats of if you have managed to make it, but it would be foolish not to hesitate at those statistics.

    I’ve been driving company now for about a year, and I have to say I’m woefully disappointed in the reliability of trucks. If I had to pay for all the repairs I most certainly would have been out of business by now. What do you recommend doing to prepare to become an o/o? You say “know your sh**”, well, is there an o/o school somewhere?

    Reply

    Paul December 21, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    Cynthia I was “little” company driver for a huge LTL. I made $60,000. + a year and home every night. If they sent me line haul, .62 a mile and a hotel/motel every night with a $45.00 for meals. I didn’t have to worry about fuel, just drive. Don’t come knocking us “little company drivers” It does phase me when o/o ‘s start talking trash about company drivers. I was on the road for a long time, but I got out of it

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    Stephen March 2, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    I would like to get a job like that. Some drivers wish they were getting what you are.

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    Steven December 22, 2013 at 5:14 am

    We wouldn’t need money for infrastructure if our government just taxed companies who haven’t had to pay taxes in decades.

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    Chris December 23, 2013 at 1:22 am

    I would prefer to be a lil company driver over an O/O any day. Being out on the road for long stretches, as well as shelling out my hard earned money for costly repairs, taxes fees and so forth does not appeal to me! I will let the company shoulder the fuel costs, tire costs, maintenance costs and all of the other expenses associated with operating a truck! I am not saying being a company driver is better, it is simply more desirable to me to drive their truck.

    Reply

    Ziggy December 23, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    When they raise tolls the cost of freight goes up. Then the cost of products go up. Very simple! Then they raise tolls because the cost of maintenance goes up! And the cycle continues!

    Reply

    Chris December 25, 2013 at 9:18 am

    In canada the government took a lot of tax payer money and built a toll highway to bypass the 401 in Ontario called the 407. After it was done they “realized” the tolls weren’t sufficient and also that public run services seem to run a deficit. So they privatized the road and let a company take over and run it – now the tolls line someone’s pockets. – and public money polices it. I never got offere to take it over and I didn’t get my cut of the sale. I did get to keep paying the toll. I think deficits have become a goal of governments so they can point to them as a reason as to why they sell off public assets to their friends. Work 4 years and get a full pension and that is not enough for some….any truckers out there retire after four eyes and get a publicly funded company handed over to them turnkey? If so let me know

    Reply

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