Pass bill without taxes, says TIA's Littlefield

May 18, 2011

Roy Littlefield, executive vice president of the Tire Industry Association (TIA), called on Congress to pass the pending Federal Highway Bill without any tax increases and without a weight-distance tax.

Speaking at a press event held on Monday, May 16, at a Baltimore, Md.-area gas station, Littlefield said a weight-distance tax would eliminate the Federal Excise Tax (FET) on truck tires. That, in turn, would hurt the retreading industry.

United States Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.) held the press conference to show the impact high oil prices were having on citizens and business, and to call for the passage of the "Close Big Oil Tax Loophole Act," which would end $4 billion a year in subsidies and tax breaks for the five biggest oil companies.

Those companies -- Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell plc, Chevron Corp., BP p.l.c. and ConocoPhillips Co. -- made nearly $1 trillion in profits in the last decade and more than $35 billion in the first three months of 2011.

"Our nation’s roads are in poor shape, and that’s the main reason why Congress must pass the Federal Highway Bill without delay," says Littlefield. "But, we can’t afford any new taxes, and the proposal to pass a weight-distance tax would cause immediate and potentially long-lasting damage to the retread industry, which is helping keep America’s commercial transportation vehicles ‘green’ and fuel-efficient."

On the topic of high oil prices, Littlefield remarked, “The current high oil prices are having a negative effect on the tire industry -- including the price of tires. No segment of the tire industry is being spared from the effects of these high prices, and consumers, including the trucking industry, are ultimately the ones who are bearing the brunt of this outrageous increase."

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