HIGHWAY FUND DISTRIBUTION POLICY

GEOGRAPHIC APPORTIONMENTS OF HIGHWAY FUNDS BY THE FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS HAVE GREATLY INCREASED IN IMPORTANCE IN RECENT YEARS. THE TREND TOWARD CENTRALIZATION IN HIGHWAY FINANCE, ESPECIALLY AS A RESULT OF FEDERAL DECISIONS, HAS OCCURRED TOGETHER WITH INCREASED HIGHWAY EXPENDITURES ON BEHALF OF LOCAL TRAVEL WITHIN GEOGRAPHIC REGIONS, PARTICULARLY IN URBAN AREAS. THE CHANNELLING OF THE ENORMOUS CENTRAL POOLS OF HIGHWAY REVENUES TO SEPARATE REGIONS AND ROAD SYSTEMS IS A DISTINCT PART OF PUBLIC POLICY FOR HIGHWAY FINANCING. AN ECONOMIC VIEW IS SUGGESTED OF THE APPORTIONMENT PROCESS. THE GEOGRAPHIC DIVISION OF HIGHWAY USER TAX PROCEEDS LINKS THE COLLECTION OF THE REVENUES WITH THEIR EXPENDITURE FOR SPECIFIC INVESTMENT PURPOSES. THEREFORE, DISTRIBUTION POLICY MAY BE ANALYZED BOTH IN TERMS OF THE ECONOMIC OBJECTIVES OF USER TAXATION, AND THE ECONOMIC PRINCIPLES APPLICABLE TO HIGHWAY EXPENDITURES. BOTH APPROACHES ARE CONSIDERED, AS WELL AS THE PROBLEM OF DRAWING THEM TOGETHER. THE DISTRIBUTION POLICIES OF THE FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS HAVE BEEN INFLUENTIAL IN SHAPING THE DIRECTION OF TRANSPORTATION DEVELOPMENTS AMONG REGIONS. AT THE TIME BEFORE WORLD WAR II WHEN NEARLY ALL TAX COLLECTIONS WERE EXPENDED UPON RURAL ROADS, THE SHIFT OF MONEY FROM CITIES TO RURAL REGIONS GAVE INTERCITY AND RURAL MOTORISTS THE BENEFIT OF SUPPORT FROM THE BROAD URBAN HIGHWAY TAX BASE. IN THE POSTWAR PERIOD, THE DECISION TO FINANCE URBAN FREEWAYS FROM USER TAXES HAS BEEN AN IMPORTANT FACTOR IN THE COURSE OF METROPOLITAN TRANSPORT PLANNING. VARIOUS ECONOMIC ISSUES RAISED BY THE RURAL-URBAN DIVISION OF HIGHWAY FUNDS ARE DISCUSSED BRIEFLY. /HRB/

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Vol 41, pp 51-70, 1 TAB, 15 REF
  • Authors:
    • Carll, R R
  • Publication Date: 1962

Media Info

  • Monograph Title: Proceedings of the 41st Annual Meeting of the Highway Research Board, Washington, D.C., January 8-12, 1962
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00201988
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jan 31 1972 12:00AM