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A new Congressional Budget Office report says that the Highway Trust Fund may be empty by fiscal year 2014.
According to The Hill’s transportation blog the CBO report projects the highway trust to have $12 billion at the end of the current fiscal year, which began last July, and a $3 billion balance in the 2013 budget year that will begin this summer. The reports finds by 2014 the trust fund, which is at the center of the current debate over a new federal highway bill, will reach zero. The federal gas tax, which is currently 18.4 cents per gallon, brings in approximately $100 million per day in revenue, by far the major supplier to the HTF coffers. But the gas tax is static and politicians won’t touch it with a fifty-foot pole. So gas tax income is going nowhere. Does this mean a long-term reauthorization bill is spending money it’s not sure is going to bet there?
So even though we see the iceberg, no one on the bridge is turning the wheel.
Read the entire CBO report, The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2012 to 2022.