WCI Applauds Senate Passage of Increase to Barge Diesel Fuel User Fee Included inTax Extenders Legislation Dec 16, 2014 - WCI Newsroom Washington, DC – Tonight, Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) and its members and stakeholders applauded the Senate’s passage, by a vote of 76 to16, of a 9-cent increase to the barge diesel fuel user fee. The provision was a part of tax extenders legislation that was combined with the “Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE)” Act that establishes tax-favored savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. The ABLE Act that included the provision to increase the user fee by 9 cents passed the House on December 3 by a vote of 404-17. The user fee – currently 20-cents-per-gallon of fuel used while operating on the inland system –will be increased to 29-cents-per-gallon, effective April 1, 2015. Deposited into the Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF), this amount is matched by General Treasury Funds and is dedicated to new construction and major rehabilitation of the inland system. The 9-cent-increase will add around $80 million annually to the IWTF. It is supported by those who pay it – just 300 commercial operators – while the entire nation benefits, from hydropower, municipal water supply, recreational boating and fishing, flood control, national security, and waterfront property development.