Bipartisan Legislation To Increase Funding For The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Introduced In The House Of Representatives

Last week a group of Representatives including Peter Welch (D-VT), John Curtis (R-UT), Angie Craig (D-MN), Annie Kuster (D-NH), Mike Simpson (R-ID) and Chris Stewart (R-UT) introduced H.R. 5797, The Recreational Trails Full Funding Act of 2020. The bill requires a Nonhighway Recreational Fuel Study, better reporting of RTP projects and increased funding.

To read a press release about the introduction of H.R. 5797 click here.

To read the Coalition of Recreational Trails letter in support of H.R. 5797 click here.

Background on RTP (from the FHWA website):

The RTP provides funds to the States to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both nonmotorized and motorized recreational trail uses. The RTP is an assistance program of the Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Federal transportation funds benefit recreation including hiking, bicycling, in-line skating, equestrian use, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, off-road motorcycling, all-terrain vehicle riding, four-wheel driving, or using other off-road motorized vehicles.

RTP funds come from the Federal Highway Trust Fund and represent a portion of the motor fuel excise tax collected from nonhighway recreational fuel use: fuel used for off-highway recreation by snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles, and off-highway light trucks.

H.R. 5797 would require FHWA to estimate the amount of gas taxes paid by non-highway recreational users. The current estimate is more than a decade old but suggests that those users pay more than $270 million. Further the legislation would increase RTP funding from $84 million to $250 million and provide for better reporting of RTP projects.

The RTP is critical to OHV recreation across the Country and provides funding for all sorts of motorized projects. NOHVCC, CRT and other trail-related organizations will keep you apprised of efforts to support the RTP.

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