Those who depend on river traffic to carry their goods are thankful for a user fee the president has signed into law. That’s because the money, from barge fuel taxes, will be used to repair locks and dams. President Obama signed the Water Resources and Reform Development Act into law Tuesday.
“We have to move past this attitude of no tax increases, no new taxes, and we have to think of what’s good for the heartland,” says Paul Taylor, who farms in DeKalb County. “We just need to make a bigger pipe, if you will, for the future export capacity.”
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Taylor, immediate past president of the Illinois Corn Growers Association, says it’s not just what comes out of the ground that travels by barge; fertilizer, road salt, aviation fuel oil and concrete are others.
Taylor says the new law, the Water Resources and Reform Development Act, will get repairs started in a few years, as opposed to sometime, if Taylor’s lucky, within his lifetime.