Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Shortfall At Highway Trust Fund Will Delay 2014 Payments To States: 2015 Funds Will Be Needed to Pay 2014 Obligations: CBO Testimony

From CBO, "Testimony on the Status of the Highway Trust Fund and Options for Financing Highway Spending" by Joseph Kile, Assistant Director for Microeconomic Studies, before the Committee on Finance, United State Senate, May 6, 2014:
Moreover, with its current revenue sources, the Highway Trust Fund cannot support spending at the current rate. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that, at the end of fiscal year 2014, the balance in the trust fund’s highway account will fall to about $2 billion and the balance in its transit account will be only $1 billion. Spending for highways and transit will be $45 billion and $8 billion, respectively. By comparison, revenues collected for those purposes are projected to be $33 billion and $5 billion, respectively. The Department of Transportation (DOT) has indicated that it will probably need to delay payments to states at some point during the summer of 2014 in order to keep the fund’s balance above zero, as required by law. Then, if nothing changes, the trust fund’s balance will be insufficient to meet all of its obligations in fiscal year 2015, and it will incur steadily accumulating shortfalls in subsequent years. If lawmakers do not take action, all of the receipts credited to the fund in 2015 would be needed to meet obligations made before that year; none would be available to cover any new commitments that would be made in 2015.

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