The RTP, which provides money to states to develop and maintain trails, would lose dedicated funding under provisions in a transportation funding authorization bill – S. 1813, “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” (MAP-21) – which was approved by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee by an 18-0 vote on Nov. 9.It’s unknown when the full Senate will vote on the measure.The RTP became law in 1991 as part of a federal transportation funding authorization bill. Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations, was shocked by the committee vote and noted that abolishing the RTP dedicated funding would effectively create a tax increase on OHV riders because the RTP funds would no longer be designated for a program that benefits motorized trail users.Wayne Allard says: “Motorcyclists pay the gasoline taxes that go to sustain the trails program. Many interests pull from the highway fund and do not pay into it! It becomes akin to a tax increase to the general fund.“This program was created for trail users and is self-funded by the highway fuel taxes of trail users. Trail users see this program as a very essential part of their chosen form of recreation, and there’s no reason to redirect the funding for the program. The RTP pays for itself.”The RTP represents a portion of the federal motor fuel excise tax collected from non-highway recreational fuel use. In other words, taxes generated by fuel used for OHV recreation – by snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), off-highway motorcycles and off-highway light trucks – fund the RTP.Wayne Allard says: “I urge all concerned riders to contact their U.S. senators and ask them to support continued dedicated funding for the Recreational Trails Program. Money for the program comes from off-highway riders and should continue to be used to benefit off-highway riders.”The easiest way to contact lawmakers is by going to AmericanMotorcyclist.com > Rights > Issues & Legislation.