Highways and Public Transportation: How to Pay for Them?

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Riley N. Michelson (Editor)

Series: Transportation Infrastructure – Roads, Highways, Bridges, Airports and Mass Transit, Transportation Issues, Policies and R&D
BISAC: TRA001140

Federal surface transportation programs are currently funded primarily through taxes on motor fuels that are deposited in the highway trust fund. Although there has been some modification to the tax system, and the tax rates which have not been increased at the federal level since 1993. Prior to the recession that began in 2007, annual increases in driving, with a concomitant increase in fuel use, were sufficient to keep revenues rising steadily.

This is no longer the case. Future increases in fuel economy standards are expected to suppress motor fuel consumption in the years ahead even if annual increases in vehicle mileage resume. Congress has yet to address the surface transportation program’s fundamental revenue issues, and has not given serious consideration to raising fuel taxes in recent years. Instead, Congress has financed the federal surface transportation program by supplementing fuel tax revenues with transfers from the U.S. Treasury general fund. This book begins with a discussion of the problems associated with the trust fund financing system (which supports both federal highway and public transportation programs) and then explores possible options for financing surface transportation infrastructure. (Imprint: Novinka )

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Table of Contents

Preface

Funding and Financing Highways and Public Transportation
(Robert S. Kirk, William J. Mallett, CRS)

The Federal Excise Tax on Gasoline and the Highway Trust Fund: A Short History
(James M. Bickley, CRS)

How Would Proposed Fuel Economy Standards Affect the Highway Trust Fund?
(Terry Dinan and David Austin, Congressional Budget Office)

Surface Transportation Funding and Programs Under MAP-21: Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (P.L. 112-141)
(Robert S. Kirk, John Frittelli, Linda Luther, William J. Mallett, David Randall Peterman, CRS)

Index

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