April 16, 2014
In its latest update of the Highway Trust Fund Ticker, the U.S. Department of Transportation predicts the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) to shortfall as early as the end of August.
In the ticker update, the DOT notes that the Highway Account started fiscal year 2014 with about $1.6 billion, and $9.7 billion was transferred from the General Fund.
Since then, the account’s cash balance has dropped by nearly $3.5 billion to $8.4 billion.
The HTF provides funding to the majority of projects in the U.S.
A DOT official said earlier this year that the agency could delay reimbursements to state and local transportation agencies to prevent the shortfall. Additionally, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said last week that if the HTF, along with other problems with the nation’s transportation system, isn’t fixed, 700,000 jobs could be lost.
Despite the grim outlook, officials in D.C. have been working to find a solution. In January, President Barack Obama proposed a $302 billion, 4-year transportation reauthorization bill, which would provide $63 billion to the HTF to help fill the funding gap. Since then, the House GOP has offered a solution for the HTF that involves maintaining its user-fee-supported system. And last week, four top transportation senators unveiled their priorities for the new highway bill that will replace MAP-21, which expires in September.
For more details about the Highway Account balance, see the DOT’s Highway Trust Fund Ticker here.