TRANSPORTATION FINANCE: CHOICES IN A PERIOD OF CHANGE

The Congress has a unique opportunity in this session to reconsider the ways in which federal transportation programs are financed. There are several reasons for this: Some Congressional action is required soon since the Highway Trust Fund expires in 1979, and the Airport and Airway Trust Fund expires in 1980. The Carter Administration has proposed major new highway and transit legislation that takes some important first steps toward a unified trust fund for all transportation modes. Proposals for specialzied trust funds are proliferating in response to demands by many modes of transportation for additional federal funds. In a reversal of the trend of recent decades, maintenance costs are becoming the dominant factor in highway spending. The magnitude of these maintenance costs and the degree to which they are assumed to be a responsibility of the federal government--as opposed to the state or local government--must be addressed. Largely because of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 and other legislation now pending before the Congress, gasoline consumption is expected to decline. Thus, Highway Trust Fund revenues, which depend greatly on excise taxes on motor fuels, will grow much more slowly than in the past. Inflation will further erode the purchasing power of these revenues. This is also a significant problem for the states because their highway financing depends primarily on gasoline taxes. /Author/

  • Corporate Authors:

    United States Congress

    Congressional Budget Office
    Washington, DC  USA  20510
  • Publication Date: 1978-3

Media Info

  • Features: Tables;
  • Pagination: 35 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00177144
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 19 1981 12:00AM