November 26,2003

Grassley, Baucus Introduce Fuel Fraud Prevention Act of 2003

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, and Sen. Max Baucus, ranking member, on Tuesday introduced the Fuel Fraud Prevention Act. Grassley’s floor statement and the bill text follow.

Floor Statement of Senator Charles E. Grassley
Fuel Fraud Prevention Act of 2003
Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2003

Thank you, Mr. President. Today we introduce a bill to fight fuel tax fraud. I am not talking about just moving around a few numbers on a tax return. Today we will begin closing the loopholes that have created millions of gallons and billions of dollars of missing fuel and missing tax dollars.

This problem not only robs the U.S. Treasury, it also robs the American taxpayer.

We rely on these tax dollars to fund not only the Highway Trust Fund, which is charged with constructing and maintaining our national transportation system, but this also robs money from our Airport Trust Fund.

In light of investigations completed since September 11th, the safety and soundness of maintaining our nation’s transportation infrastructure is now more than ever of the utmost importance. These issues are not just tax fraud -- not only are we concerned with the tax loss, butwhere else is this money going – is it being used to fund terrorism? We need to know where all ofthis fuel is going. What makes us think that if we cannot find the fuel to collect the tax, that wecould find the fuel to stop the terrorist acts? A missing barge could hold ninety tanker truckloadsof fuel; that’s about $500,000 in federal and state excise taxes left uncollected. It’s also hundredsof thousands of gallons for which we cannot account. That cannot happen, and this bill should helpour enforcement officers close the loopholes and collect the tax that builds our highways.