The issue of whether the government should pay for transportation through general revenues or through some kind of charges on the users of the transportation system goes back a long way. In 1965, the Johnson White House attempted to move the conversation forward by proposing to increase user charges on aviation, levy new user charges on inland waterway transportation, and increase and extend the user charges on highway transportation, all of which were excise taxes.

This week’s Eno Transportation Library Document of the Week is in three parts:

  • A February 1965 memo from the Bureau of the Budget tracing the drive for more federal user charges back to a “sense of Congress” provision adopted in 1951 and urging the President and Cabinet to push the user charge agenda;
  • An excerpt from the January 1965 submission of the President’s fiscal 1966 budget on new user charge proposals; and
  • The June 1964 Bureau of the Budget status report on government-wide federal user charges.