U.S. Senators Introduce Bill to Fund Recreational Trails Program

Nov 2, 2018 | Member News

hiking trailFour U.S. Senators have introduced a bill to increase funding for the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), which provides trail construction and maintenance projects and programs nationwide. The program, implemented in 1991, receives funding from taxes on recreational fuels not used on highways.

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jim Risch (R-ID), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Richard Burr (R-NC) recently introduced SB 3604 – the RTP Full Funding Act of 2018 – to require a study to estimate the total amount of taxes collected on nonhighway recreational fuel, improve reporting on expenditures from the RTP, and streamline RTP funding distribution to the states by reducing unnecessary paperwork.

Outdoor enthusiasts now enjoy a better outdoor experience because of the RTP, and the organization’s accomplishments unite the efforts in every state of federal agencies, state and local governments, volunteers and recreation businesses. Over the last 27 years, the RTP has funded more than 23,000 projects. The program has attracted hundreds of millions of dollars of matching support from other private and public sources for trails and facilitated healthy outdoor recreation, as well as badly needed economic activity in countless communities.

Conservative estimates suggest that the RTP currently receives only about one third of the total taxes paid annually by nonhighway recreationists. A study to determine the best available estimate of the total amount of nonhighway recreational fuel taxes collected will help ensure that these federal taxes are appropriately returned to the states for RTP, while helping provide the Congress with the information it needs as it considers future infrastructure legislation.

The RTP Full Funding Act of 2018 is supported by the Coalition for Recreational Trails, the federation of all major national trail-related organizations. Its members work together to build awareness and understanding of the RTP and to ensure that the RTP is responsive and accountable and receives adequate and equitable funding. For more information, go towww.funoutdoors.com/crt.

SOURCE: RTP Full Funding Act