TRENDS IN HIGHWAY FINANCIAL PRACTICES

AS A GUIDE TO HIGHWAY FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION, THIS STUDY OF TRENDS PROVIDES INFORMATION CONCERNING POSSIBLE FUTURE INCOME SOURCES AND EXPENDITURE NEEDS. THE DISCUSSION INCLUDES THE TRENDS IN GASOLINE TAX RATES, REGISTRATION FEES, BONDS, TOLLS, PROPERTY TAXES, FEDERAL AID, DIVERSION, STATE AND LOCAL RELATIONS, AND EXPENDITURES FOR HIGHWAY TRANSPORTATION SERVICES. IT IS CONCLUDED THAT GASOLINE TAX MAY BE EXPECTED TO REMAIN APPROXIMATELY STATIONARY PENDING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A DEFINITE HIGHWAY EXPENDITURE PROGRAM. REGISTRATION FEES, ON THE OTHER HAND, SHOW DOWNWARD TENDENCIES FOR PASSENGER CARS AND AN UPWARD TREND FOR TRUCKS. THE DECREASING USE OF GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS IS DESCRIBED, TOGETHER WITH THE GROWING POPULARITY OF HIGHWAY REVENUE BONDS SECURED SOLELY BY MOTOR VEHICLE TAX EARNINGS, AND OF PUBLIC REVENUE BONDS FOR HIGH-COST STRUCTURES, SECURED BY TOLL EARNINGS. THE EXTENT OF TOLL FINANCING AND ITS THEORETICAL IMPLICATIONS ARE INVESTIGATED, REVEALING A LIMITED PLACE IN HIGHWAY TRANSPORT OF THIS METHOD OF PAYMENT. PROPERTY TAX TRENDS ARE DISCUSSED FOR BOTH STATE AND LOCAL LEVIES, THE FORMER BEING GENERALLY REDUCED TO ZERO, WHILE THE DEGREE OF LOCAL PROPERTY SUPPORT VARIES FROM ZERO IN SOME STATES TO CONSIDERABLE AMOUNTS IN OTHERS. ON THE SUBJECT OF "DIVERSION," IT IS NOTED THAT ALTHOUGH THERE WAS GROWING HOSTILITY TO THIS PRACTICE IN RECENT LEGISLATIVE SESSIONS, THE AMOUNT OF HIGHWAY USER FUNDS APPLIED TO NON-HIGHWAY PURPOSES IS EXPECTED TO REACH A NEW PEAK FOR 1939. CHANGING FEDERAL POLICIES ARE DESCRIBED, PARTICULARLY THE SHIFT IN EMPHASIS TO URBAN PROBLEMS, AND THE GENERALLY INCREASING INTEREST IN HIGHWAYS FROM A NATIONAL VIEWPOINT. RECOGNITION OF THE CITIES AND LOCAL ROADS IN STATE MOTOR V%HICLE TAX DISTRIBUTION IS ALSO DESCRIBED, A SURVEY OF STATE CONTROL OVER THE EXPENDITURE OF THESE FUNDS REVEALING THAT STATES WHICH HAVE NO CONTROL EXCEED THOSE WHICH DO, AND THAT MANY STATES HAVING LEGAL CONTROL FIND SUCH LAWS INEFFECTIVE. FINALLY, DATA ARE PRESENTED TO SHOW THE TREND TOWARD INCREASING EXPENDITURES FOR MOTORING CONVENIENCE AND THE PROBLEM OF PROVIDING A HIGHER QUALITY OF URBAN HIGHWAY SERVICE IS OUTLINED, PARTICULARLY WITH REFERENCE TO THE PROVISION OF PARKING FACILITIES. THE REPORT CONCLUDES THAT SINCE MANY SO-CALLED "PRINCIPLES" OF HIGHWAY FINANCE EVOLVE THROUGH EXPEDIENCY AND LEGISLATIVE FIAT, IT IS IMPORTANT TO WATCH FINANCIAL TRENDS, AND IF NECESSARY TO CHALLENGE THEM, BEFORE THEY BECOME ACCEPTED PRACTICE. /AUTHOR/

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Vol 19, pp 15-49, 5 FIG, 6 TAB; part of Report of Department of Highway Finance
  • Authors:
    • Owen, W
    • Marsh, B W
    • Morrison, R L
  • Publication Date: 1940

Media Info

  • Monograph Title: Proceedings of the Nineteenth Annual Meeting of the Highway Research Board Held at Washington, D.C. December 5-8, 1939
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00201025
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Oct 3 1971 12:00AM