AMA says ‘No’ to road user fees

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EDMONTON, Alta. — The Alberta Motor Association (AMA) is appalled by a recent Canada Transportation Act review panel that calls on drivers to shell out more money for roads.

“Motorists are often singled out as the panacea for a whole set of problems,” AMA manager of advocacy and community services, Scott Wilson told local media. “We just can’t say, ‘let’s add another tax onto the motorist.’ We should remember that we’re already taxed to the hilt.”

The controversial report, released Wednesday, says that provinces should hit up drivers with new or increased charges — with rates varying depending on the type of vehicle and the type of road used.

Wilson says the answer to Alberta’s road woes involves spending more money from the funds generated through fuel taxes. He points out that the federal government collects more than $600 million in Alberta fuel taxes, but only spends $100 million back into the provinces roads.

Wilson also points out there’s $17 billion worth of repairs needed for Alberta’s highways, but the AMA is calling on government to come up with the money.

“There certainly isn’t $17 billion lying around. So we need to do a better job of looking after the infrastructure because once it gets away from us like it has, it’s very difficult to get back on top of those costs.”

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