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increase raises the cost of transportation and reaches the public through normal trade channels.
The Private Truck Council is firmly of the opinion that the levying of motortruck use taxes should be reserved to the States. They should not be levied by the Federal Government nor by any political subdivision of a State.
In summing up, we think it is clear that if the Federal Government wants the States to be able to look after themselves in the matter of building adequate highways, it should get out of the Federal automotive excise tax field. There is danger that too many people are tempted to overlook the role played by the States in the development of our highway system and to forget the importance of safeguarding the legitimate activities of the States in this and other connections. We feel there should be a maximum of State and local initiative and control and, at the same time, the means of exercising such initiative and control should be left in their hands.
Specifically, we recommend, (1) The Federal Government should remove itself from the field of automotive excise taxation. The field of automotive fuel taxes should be a State matter exclusively.
(2) Urban multilane ingress and egress highways. The decision to build these should rest with the citizens of the States and their willingness to tax themselves to pay for them.
(3) The building of toll roads, not supported by the credit of any political subdivision, but where a return is indicated on the invesťment of private capital, can be useful in developing the Interstate System and should be utilized. Federal aid funds should not be used for the construction or maintenance of toll roads. Legislation authorizing toll roads should stipulate that bonds issued by any turnpike authority are not to be backed by any governmental credit and that every toll road should be converted to a free road at the earliest practicable date.
(4) Diversion of State highway tax revenue to other than highway purposes should cease.
(5) Federal specifications for highway construction which have the effect of unduly limiting the carrying capacity of trucks should be modified. The Federal Government should cease advocating an 18,000-pound axle limit. Regulation of sizes and weights of trucks should be the function of the States rather than of the Federal Government.
(6) The formation of a Federal corporation to expedite the construction of highways should not be undertaken nor should Federal debt be created for that purpose. Highways should be constructed, improved, and maintained from normal revenue sources to the fullest possible extent.
(7) The Federal Government should not exceed the traditional 5050 basis for matching funds for highways.
You had a question, sir, about breaking up highways?
Mr. GORMAN. I have some pictures here that I would like to show you, if you will permit me.
Senator Case. Mr. Chairman, I have one question.
Mr. Gorman, I notice that you have put in a table. It is very interesting. You have a total of $2,165,914,000 as the total Federal automotive excise tax collection. You have made the point that there are only 4 or 5 States where the States have an allotment in the 1954 Act which is equal to their excise tax.
You could also have made the point that the total Federal apportionment to the States amount to only $849 million out of the $2,165 million that is collected in what you call automotive excise taxes.
To break that down, in Michigan, with $125 million in automotive excise taxes, they obviously collect a lot of automotive excise taxes that come from people in other States. I think that we ought to have a breakdown as to the amount of excise taxes from different sources, whether it is tax on the automobile, tax on oils, tax on gasoline, tax on tires and tubes, and so forth.
Mr. GORMAN. I will try to get that for you.
Senator Case. Ohio, for instance, is probably credited with excise taxes on a great many tires that are paid for by people who live in Tennessee or Florida.
Mr. GORMAN. You mean because the collections are made at the factories?
Senator CASE. Yes.
Senator CASE. I want a breakdown on this column, certainly as to totals, so that we know what makes up these totals. Gasoline taxes amount to only about $900 million, for instance. Mr. GORMAN. I will try to get that for you.
Senator GORE. I have two letters which I will incorporate into the record at this point, one from the Truck-Trailer Manufacturers Association and the other from the American Automobile Association. (The letters are as follows:) TRUCK-TRAILER MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION, INC.,
Washington, D. C. Senator DENNIS CHAVEZ, Senate Public Works Committee,
Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR CHAVEZ: The Board of Directors of the Truck-Trailer Manufacturers Association, representing firms who make more than 90 percent of all truck-trailers, are naturally very much interested in highway legislation now pending before the Congress.
After our membership had been canvassed, the attached resolution was unanimously adopted by our board of directors at its quarterly meeting, held in Oklahoma City, Okla., on April 1, 1955. It is respectfully submitted for your consideration. Sincerely yours,
JOHN B. HULSE,
Managing Director. RESOLUTION--A NATIONAL HIGHWAY PROGRAM Whereas at the direction of the President of the United States a thorough study of our national highway needs has been made by a special study committee of the national Governors' Conference and by the President's Advisory Committee on a National Highway Program; and
Whereas the recommendations of the aforementioned special committees, the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of the Treasury have been reflected in S. 1160, and in H. R. 4260, H. R. 4261, H. R. 4634, and H. R. 4518, all having been referred to appropriate committees of the Senate and House of Representatives; and
Whereas, it is our unanimous opinion that the philosophy of employing bond financing by the Federal Government in order to quickly rebuild the National System of Interstate Highways to assure our defense and continuing prosperity in the public interest; and
Whereas any great expansion of Federal highway aid to the States on a matching basis would work great financial hardship on the States; and
Whereas it would further engender increased State taxation upon the highway transportation industry; and
Whereas the highway transportation industry is presently paying from onethird to one-half of the Nation's highway bill: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the board of directors of the Truck-Trailer Manufacturers Association, Inc., representing the manufacturers who make more than 90 percent of all truck trailers produced in this Nation, and assembled in quarterly meeting this first day of April 1955 at Oklahoma City, Okla., does hereby endorse the general philosophy of Federal bond financing of the National System of Interstate Highways as reflected in the above-mentioned bills now pending in Congress, and does direct the Secretary to forward copies of this resolution to all Members of Congress who may be concerned. (Letter from the American Automobile Association :)
AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION,
Washington, D.O., April 4, 1955. Hon. ALBERT GORE, Chairman, Subcommittee on Roads, Senate Committee on Public Works,
Ser Office Building, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR SENATOR GORE: First, may I commend you and your subcommittee on the impressive and valuable work which you are doing in the hearings which you are conducting concerning proposals for a greatly accelerated highway-improvement program. Would that the general public might know of the care and thoroughness with which you are going into this matter which has such a tremendous long-range significance to our country's future.
You know, I am sure, of the continuing interest of our organization in highway matters over the past 50 years and of our strong desire for constructive, forward-looking highway-improvement programs suited to the highway-transportation needs of today and tomorrow.
Herewith we submit a statement as to our association's position on various aspects of the bject now before you. We are furnishing additional copies for members of your subcommittee and such other distribution as you may deem appropriate. Sincerely,
WILLIAM A. STINCHCOMB, Chairman, 11A Highway Committee.
STATEMENT OF AMERICAN ACTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION CONCERNING PROPOSED HIGH
WAY LEGISLATION TO THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON ROADS OF THE L'NITED STATES SENATE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS, APRIL 4, 1955
The American Automobile Association, organized in 1902, is a federation of 717 independent automobile clubs and branches in every State of the l'nion, and having as members over 4,600,000 owners of passenger cars.
Its highway policies are formulated through democratic processes: Policy pro posals are first considered by a representative highway committee. They are then considered by a policy committee of substantial size, representing all areas of the country. Measures approved by the policy committee come before an annual convention for consideration by delegates representing the various affiliated clubs and State associations. Throughout this procedure, the objective is to serve the best interest of our membership, of highway transportation, and the public welfare. The constructive interest of our association and affiliated clubs in highway improvement over the last half century is a matter of public record.
Commendation of stepped-up highway-improvement program: At its last annual convention, the American Automobile Association went on record in favor of a greatly stepped-up highway-improvement program, and expressed enthusiasm over the possibility of developing a modernization program which will meet with widespread public support.
Top priority to the National System of Interstate Highways: Since the National System of Interstate Highways was designated in compliance with the request of Congress in the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1.944, our association has consistently advocated the expeditious completion of that system at suitably high standards. In the highway modernization legislation now under consider
ation by your committee, our association strongly urges that top priority be given to the National System of Interstate Highways since it constitutes the most important roads in the country from the standpoints of national defense, transportation, and the general economy.
Extent of regular Federal aid : Completion of the Interstate System should be considered as a special top priority task for which special financial and other measures should be adopted. The association also continues its support of regular Federal aid and asserts that “Federal aid, on a substantial scale. should continue with respect to general purpose roads of national significance and should be based on transportation needs for those roads." The amount of regular Federal aid should be determined by the Congress on the basis of overall economic considerations, national defense requirements and other vital interests of the Government. Except for the traditional formula for public land States, the Federal cost for projects on the regular Federal aid system, other than the Interstate System, should not exceed 50 percent of the cost of right-of-way and construction, but not to include the cost of maintenance.
Various beneficiaries should pay their share: Since the proposed highway improvement program is designed to improve our national economy, the general welfare, and national defense as well as to serve our transportation needs, the various beneficiaries should pay their equitable share of the cost.
Fifty percent or more of Federal funds to Interstate System : The association urgest that not less than 50 percent of all Federal funds for roads be earmarked for the Interstate System.
Completion date for National System of Interstate Highways: The executive committee of our association, meeting on March 17 and 18, reaffirmed the desirability of completing this system expeditiously and at high standards, but decided that the association's position should be that this vital network be completed at a time not to exceed 15 years from the time the Congress adopts legislation for an accelerated program for such construction.
Desirable as an early completion date is, there are other important considerations. Too great, haste alınost inevitably means inefficiency and waste of road dollars. So important is this basic road network that it should have the best engineering design possible; yet there is a serious shortage of trained and experienced highway engineers for even the present rate of highway construction. If highway contractors have to build up their organizations and step up greatly the amount of specialized heavy-road equipment needed, they will inevitably think in terms of writing off those additional expenses within the period of stepped-up construction, since there will be no assurance that they can continue to utilize such quantities of equipment thereafter. A construction period longer than 10 years will also permit more pay-as-you-go financing.
Furthermore, during whatever accelerated improvement period is adopted for the interstate system, our association believes that there should be a parallel program for accelerated improvement of the more important elements of other Federal-aid roads. This program will also call for additional highquality engineering work. It will likewise place an additional load on road contractors. There is also the problem of the ability of States to provide the necessary funds to match the various Federal-aid apportionments, which would obviously be more difficult for a 10-year improvement program than for one covering a longer period.
It is such considerations which led our executive committee to determine that the association's position should call for somewhat more flexibility as to completion date, and in place of the 10-year period, which had earlier been declared, the association now recommends as a practical matter a somewhat longer period, namely not to exceed 15 years. Thus, the association would favor extending the 10-year period set forth in S. 1160. We would not regard the provisions of S. 1048 as adequate from the standpoint of time of completion of this vital network.
Federal share of Interstate System cost-State responsibility for plans, construction, maintenance, and policing: The association urges that the Federal share of right-of-way and construction cost for the Interstate System be not less than 75 percent. It takes this position because of the unique transportation significance of the Interstate System and its great importance for defense, and because it is so clearly the system for which primary Federal responsibility is indicated. The association believes that the Federal Government should determine the standards for this system. However, it urges with equal conviction that the States, with customary participation of their political subdivisions,
should have the responsibility for preparation of plans, construction, policing and maintenance of their parts of this system.
Credit financing for Interstate System : The association's position regarding (redit financing on the Interstate System is as follows: "To the extent that the desired accelerated construction of the interstate network cannot be accomplished with current revenue, the association urges credit financing based on other revenues than tolls." Bond financing for the acquisition of expressway rights-of-way is also specifically suggested by the association.
Opposition to reimbursement to States for sections of Interstate System : At its recent meeting, the AAA executive committee considered the idea of reimbursement to States as proposed in S. 1160 for existing and future sections of the Interstate System completed to acceptable standards. Our executive committee adopted the following position: The AAA opposes in principal any reimbursement to any State for public roads or toll roads as a part of any Federal legislation for financing of the National System of Interstate Highways."
Toll-free Interstate System : The association's position has always been that the National System of Interstate Highways should be toll free. It points out that "there are some toll roads on what appear to be routes of the National System of Interstate Highways" and declares that "measures should be adopted so that these may become toll free at the earliest possible date.” The association opposes any plan such as is embodied in S. 1160 which would permit toll financing for any future segment of the Interstate System.
More emphasis on urban highway problems: The association calls for very great increases in assistance to cities for highways by both State and Federal Governments, pointing out that by far the most serious and complicated highway problems are in urban areas where half of all motor vehicle mileage is built up, and more than half of highway user revenues is produced.
Highway rights-of-way: The American Automobile Association urges that the Federal Government and the State governments develop as quickly as possible a comprehensive land program for acquisition of adequate rights-of-way for future highway programs and for full protection of the rights-of-way when they hare been acquired. The profitable experience of California in the advance acquisition of rights-of-way indicates that very large savings can be achieved by such advance acquisition.
Controlled access; Roadside zoning: The association continues its long-standing position that Federal aid for highways is a legitimate and traditional charge against general taxes. It opposes Federal excise taxes on motor vehicles and accessories, and on motor fuel and motor oil. Levying of special road user taxes should be solely the prerogative of the various States.
Senator GORE. The committee will meet again at 2 o'clock this afternoon. It will then undertake to hear the remaining witnesses. The utility group was advised that it would be heard at 2. Following their appearance we will hear Mr. John V. Lawrence and Mr. William A. Bresnahan, we hope, this afternoon.
The committee will stand adjourned at this time until 2 o'clock. (Thereupon, at 12:35 p.m., a recess was taken until 2 p. m.)
Senator GORE. The committee will come to order.
The committee is very pleased to have with it the distinguished Congressman from Florida, Mr. Bennett.
STATEMENT OF HON. CHARLES E. BENNETT, A MEMBER OF
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF FLORIDA
Mr. BENNETT. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
I appreciate this opportunity to testify before your subcommittee on the need for Federal legislation providing for assumption by the Federal Government of its fair and just share of public utility relocation expenses necessitated by construction of Feileral highways.