The House is expected to vote later this week on a Highway Bill that includes a funding provision that would once again use private debt collectors (PDC) to collect debt owed to the Internal Revenue Service.
Unlike most recent transportation legislation, this is a multi-year bill, which would allow the completion of more significant and impactful projects. While gas taxes typically pay for transportation investments, the current 18.4 cents per gallon tax has not been increased since 1993, and no longer covers the amount needed. With a $16 billion annual shortfall, Congress is looking to other funding sources. 270 Amendments have been filed to the Bill, including one that would strike completely the PDC provision.
I wrote about this a few weeks ago on insideARM, and then again in an OpEd in The Hill in response to a consumer advocate’s argument against the provision. The consumer advocate, representing the National Consumer Law Center, highlighted the litany of negative soundbites against the industry – several of which have little to do with this specific matter – and painted an inaccurate picture of the results of the latest IRS private debt collection initiatives.
Stay tuned for more as this unfolds.