Toll trolls, if you toll them, they won’t come

February 1, 2019

Wendy Parker

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Toll a fee or charge payable for permission to use a particular bridge or road.

2290 Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT)a fee assessed annually on heavy vehicles operating on public highways at registered gross weights equal to or exceeding 55,000 pounds.

Let’s be clear.

Tolls ARE taxes. You can word it six ways to Sunday, but it doesn’t change the fact.

Tolls. Are. Taxes.

And when legislators express the desire to enact truck-only tolls, they are expressing the desire to tax truckers for use of roads they’ve already paid taxes to use.

I’d like to introduce all the toll-trolls to the “Heavy Vehicle Use Tax” – a “fee” assessed annually on each-and-every over-55,000 pound vehicle operating on public highways.

(Oh wait, that’s not quite right. It’s not assessed to each-and-every heavy vehicle. There are exemptions. Among them are state and federal government heavy vehicles. Apparently being a registered state or federal vehicle somehow magically makes it easier on the infrastructure. Go figure.)

HVUT is just one example of taxes commercial vehicles pay for “permission” to use the highways. There are registration fees, fuel taxes, federal excise taxes – the list goes on and on.

So where does all the money go?

Who knows? We haven’t had an adequate infrastructure bill in years. Highway funds aren’t used for highways, and infrastructure can mean anything from a bike path to a water treatment plant.

There is no doubt that the state of our infrastructure can only be described as “scarcely controlled chaos.” And unfortunately, until there’s some sort of huge loss of life event caught on camera for the mainstream news to blast all over the universe, no one is going to care much.

Except for the truckers. Because once again the people who have consistently done their job and paid their road taxes are the ones who will be forced to pay more.

The truckers are the ones who pay the taxes and the tolls and the registration fees for permission to use all these great roads. But it turns out the roads aren’t so great. So in addition to being overburdened with tax after tax, they’re also paying for repair after repair to their equipment because the gubmint can’t pay to fix the roads they tax, toll and tax them again to use.

So the be-all, end-all idea these geniuses have come up with is – wait for it – to enact more taxes in the form of toll roads.

Makes perfect sense, right?

Unless you’re a trucker. Or can do basic math. Or happen to appreciate the governing laws and principals of the United States of America.

Enough is enough. We won’t be extorted to use roads we pay time and again to use anymore. We have paid our share and we are done.

Toll that.

Wendy Parker

Wendy Parker has covered the trucking industry since 2012 after she says she “lost my mind and decided to climb inside my husband’s big truck to travel with him as an over-the road, long-haul trucker.” Her unique writing style that ranges from biting satire to investigative journalism coupled with her unbridled passion for fighting round out a wildly talented stable of writers.

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