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Americans spend less on infrastructure than other basic utlities

A recent analysis of household expense data by HNTB Corporation shows that, on average, American families pay far less in federal and state motor fuel taxes in comparison to electricity and water service, among others.

On average, HNTB’s analysis found that American drivers pay $274.69 annually, or less than $25 a month, in combined federal and state motor fuel taxes at the pump.

These fuel taxes are the source of the Highway Trust Fund, the program to maintain the roadways and bridges essential to mobility and the nation's vitality.

While infrastructure that Americans use every day is a small fraction of their expenses, annual electric bills average $1,340 according to U.S. Energy Administration data, while a family of four paid an average annual water bill of $844.68 last year, according to research firm Statista.

Additionally, Forbes reported that annual broadband internet service averaged $794.04 in 2017 per American household, while individual mobile phone bills averaged roughly $1,200 per year, according to bill pay service Doxo.

“Think of it this way: the bills we pay monthly for critical services like electricity and water largely go to the utility companies and municipalities that provide these services,” said John Barton, HNTB’s senior vice president and national DOT practice leader, in a statement on January 13.

“That is not so when it comes to transportation,” he stressed. “Transportation is a utility and should be viewed as such. Mobility providers – the governments that build and maintain roadways, bridges, paths and transit systems so we can get to work or school, feed our families, supply our homes and enjoy our communities – see only a fraction of what Americans pay on average at the pump to deliver such an essential service. The low fuel taxes we pay are simply not enough to maintain our systems, let alone build or improve capacity.”

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Arkansas Trucking Association
PO Box 3476 (72203)
1401 West Capitol Ave.
Little Rock, AR 72201

(501) 372-3462 | Phone
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  • PROTECT the collective interests of trucking companies in the political and regulatory arenas.
  • PROMOTE the dynamics of trucking so that people have a better understanding of the link between America's primary freight delivery system and the standard of living they enjoy.
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