Inland Waterways Trust Fund

The Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF) is a fund in the U.S. Treasury that receives revenues from a tax (also known as the inland waterway user fee) on commercial-barge fuel on federally designated waterways. Approximately 11,000 miles of the nation’s 36,000 miles of inland waterways are part of this system and subject to the fuel tax. Pursuant to the Water Resources Development Act of 1986, IWTF monies are subject to appropriation and used to finance construction and major rehabilitation projects on these waterways. IWTF funds are used to match federal appropriations from the General Fund of the Treasury. Overall, expenditures from the IWTF typically make up 5%-15% of total spending by the Army Corps of Engineers on federal inland waterways. Regular operations and maintenance costs on these waterways, including dredging and minor lock repairs, are funded entirely from the General Fund. The Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 authorized changes to IWTF project planning and delivery, altered the cost-sharing threshold for major rehabilitation projects, and partially exempted one project (Olmsted Locks and Dam Project, on the Ohio River) from IWTF cost sharing. That same year, P.L. 113-295 included among its provisions an increase to the inland waterway fuel tax. These changes have stabilized the IWTF balance and allowed for an overall increase in IWTF-related expenditures on inland waterways. This paper discusses the IWTF, inland waterways, and related issues for Congress.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures;
  • Pagination: 3p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01708929
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: IF10020
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 27 2019 2:08PM