Failure to fix the nation’s transportation-funding system would be the latest economic wound inflicted on the country by the feckless 113th Congress…
The fund has been financed through the gasoline tax, and a combination of factors has seen it dwindle to next to nothing. With crumbling highways and bridges and greater demand, the needs have grown. But the revenue from the gas tax, which has not changed from the 18.4 cents a gallon imposed in 1993, has not come close to keeping pace. Inflation has reduced its value by nearly 40 percent; if inflation indexing had been in place, the tax on autos would now be 29 cents a gallon.
At the same time, the dramatic advances in fuel efficiency have substantially eroded the amount coming in, and the value will erode much further as the new fuel-efficiency standards take effect over the next decade.
The Highway Trust Fund primarily supports our road and highway system, but a portion is also set aside for transit, bike and pedestrian projects that reduce traffic. 25% of bridges rate as “structurally deficient” and without a new bill, funding for all of this will run out next month.