With highway money running out, DOT warns states of project funding cuts

| July 03, 2014
Secretary Anthony Foxx
Secretary Anthony Foxx

Department of Transportation head Anthony Foxx sent a letter to states July 1 telling them the DOT will have to start restricting reimbursement payments to states starting Aug. 1, unless Congress can act to shore up Highway Trust Fund cash flow before that date.

The DOT will only be able to provide reimbursement to states on federally appropriated projects based on actual tax receipts of the trust fund, and instead of “same-day” payments as is standard, the DOT will only be able to provide two payments a month to states, Foxx said in his letter, which was sent to directors at state transportation agencies.

Related

Ray Lahood: Raise the fuel tax to return nation to ‘envy of the world’ on infrastructure

Speaking to attendees of the ALK Transportation Technology Summit in Princeton, N.J., former United States Department of Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood made a case for raising the federal fuel tax by 10 cents a gallon and indexing the level to inflation going forward.

States will receive their payments based on their federal formula apportionment for the 2014 fiscal year, Foxx says, which is “the most equitable and straightforward approach possible for managing the crisis,” he wrote.

According to the DOT’s ticker, the Highway Trust Fund is expected to run out of money in September. It’s funded through federal diesel and gasoline taxes, which, due to inflation and more fuel efficient vehicles, is no longer adequate at their current rates.

It’s up to Congress to pass a highway bill or other measure to find a new way to fund the HTF. Several bills have been proposed, but little has happened on any of them.

Click here to see all of Overdrive’s coverage of highway funding and the highway bills introduced so far.

  • Jack Simon

    Hey Anthony; how about spending the money on actual highway projects and not the nonsense that Coburn outlines in his “Out of Gas” report?

    The $78 billion, five-year total for obligated expenditures for non-highway, non-bridge construction or maintenance projects includes:
    • Over $2 billion on 5,547 projects for bike paths and pedestrian walkways and facilities;
    • $850 million for 2,772 “scenic beautification” and landscaping projects;
    • $488 million for behavioral research;
    • $313 million for safety belt performance grants;
    • $224 million for 366 projects to rehabilitate and operate historic transportation buildings, structures, and facilities;
    • $215 million for 859 projects under scenic or historic highway programs;
    • $121 million on 63 projects for ferryboats and ferry terminal facilities;
    • $110 million for occupant protection incentive grants;
    • $84 million for 398 projects for safety and education of pedestrians and bicyclists;
    • $84 million for 213 road-kill prevention, wildlife habitat connectivity, and highway runoff pollution mitigation projects;
    • $28 million to establish 55 transportation museums;
    • $19 million for 25 projects to control and remove outdoor advertising;
    • $18 million for motorcyclist safety grants; and
    • $13 million on 50 projects for youth conservation service.

    Don’t start slinging a bunch of Bull Schtein and tell us that you are out of money when you spend it on garbage that is NOT highway improvements. Not only is it disingenuous, it is criminal in my view.

  • Pingback: With highway money running out, DOT warns states of project funding cuts - Truck Trends

  • David A. Tromp

    How about the highway department actually living within a real budget.

  • Ron

    Shut down the fmcsa use the money for something useful instead of paying these people to do nothing but screw up All we need is dot not fmcsa

  • Big R Phillips

    Wow you guys are on point! I too am baffled and pissed as i prep my 2290 payment!

  • guest

    Funny Sidenote….advertizement for “truckers” in Calif…..No Hit And Run Convictions??? Obviously we speakie ESPANYOL……..what a sick joke….there are 5,000 hit and run incidents in San Diego annually and 20,000 annual in Los Angeles……….sick enuff for ya???

  • William

    Instead of blaming the man in office. I will write letters to my Senators for more funding towards the highway bill.

  • pupeperson

    The Highway Trust Fund has no $$$ because the Pol’s stole the $$$ and replaced it w/ IOU’s, Just like the Social Security Trust Fund. It all got spent on General Fund projects like welfare and now the IOU’s have come due and they have no $$$ left with which to pay for the items for which the Fund was created — namely highway repair — so now they want to tax us some more. The solution is to get these thieves out of office.

  • Joseph K. Barnes

    Hey Anthony how about stopping the bs when city state or county cops stop us for no reason then make us lose our job and our careers do something about that. Thease people in 4 Wheeler can do anything they want but cops stop us for BS reasons ever Trucker know what I’m talking about.

  • Pingback: States Get Dear John Letter From US Government | Poliakoff & Associates, PA