New figures released by the Congressional Budget Office on Feb. 4 estimate that the federal Highway Trust Fund will run out of cash by Sept. 30. Without an infusion of money from increased taxes or General Fund transfers, more than $50 billion in Fiscal Year 2015 funding for federal highway, transit and highway safety programs – including funds for motor carrier roadside inspections – will evaporate.
CBO reports that an additional $19 billion will be necessary to keep the program afloat for one year.
A six-year surface transportation bill to replace the current MAP-21 bill, which expires on September 30, will require an extra $101 billion in funding over and above the revenue expected to be collected from federal highway user fees.
In order to delay HTF insolvency, barring Congressional action, the U.S. Department of Transportation is likely to begin slowing down payments to states, in turn forcing states to put off projects during the height of the summer construction season.
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