This page is intended to serve as a one-stop reference for information about the federal Highway Trust Fund.
The information is organized into five areas:
– Financial Information
– Recent Legislative Activity
– Analysis and Options from Governmental Entities
– Analysis and Options from Non-Governmental Organizations
– Historical Articles and Papers
– Everything you need to know about the Highway Trust Fund and much, much more.
* Delineates New Updates
March 2016 Treasury Bulletin (see Tables TF-6 and TF-6A for the Administration’s 5-year projections of Highway Trust Fund cash flow and Byrd Test calculations).
Congressional Budget Office Highway Trust Fund Cash Flow Baseline – January 2017
Congressional Budget Office Highway Trust Fund Tax Receipt Baseline – January 2017 (see tab for “Excise Taxes”)
Summary table of transfers to the Highway Trust Fund from other federal funds by special legislation, 2008 through the FAST Act in December 2015.
Federal Highway Administration HTF monthly cash flow, October 2007 through March 2017 (Table FE-1)
Federal Highway Administration HTF annual cash flow, FY 1957 – FY 2015 (Table FE-210)
Federal Highway Administration HTF Highway Account cumulative cash flow attributed to each state, FY 1957-2015 (Table FE-221)
Federal Highway Administration HTF Highway Account state-by-state receipts and apportionments/allocations for each of fiscal years 2006-2015 (Table FE-221B)
Joint Committee on Taxation: Present Law and Background Information on Federal Excise Taxes (2015)
RECENT LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY
The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act of 2015 (the FAST Act) – text of Public Law 114-94. (Information about the development of the FAST Act has been moved to our new FAST Act Legislative History page.)
List of short-term extensions of Highway Trust Fund spending authority, 2003 through the FAST Act.
Public Law 114-87 – Highway Trust Fund extension through December 4, 2015.
Public Law 114-73 – Highway Trust Fund extension through November 20, 2015 – – section 1302 includes Positive Train Control deadline extension language.
Public Law 114-41 – Three-month extension of Highway Trust Fund programs through October 29, 2015.
Introduced bill – H.R. 625 – Infrastructure 2.0 Act (Rep. Delaney) – mandatory repatriation of overseas corporate profits for the HTF and an American Infrastructure Fund.
Introduced bill – H.R. 680 – UPDATE Act (Rep. Blumenauer) – 15 cent per gallon gas and diesel tax increase for the HTF phased in over four years, with inflation indexation thereafter.
Introduced bill – H.R. 1551 – Highway Restoration Act (Rep. Sanford) – phases out the Mass Transit Account.
Introduced bill – H.R. 1846 – Bridge to Sustainable Infrastructure Act (Reps. Renacci-Pascrell-Ribble-Lipinski) – immediate indexation of the gas tax plus a bipartisan commission with the authority to put HTF solvency proposals on the House and Senate floor under fast-track procedures.
Introduced bill – H.R. 2716 – Transportation Empowerment Act (Rep. DeSantis) – devolves most HTF programs back to states and lowers federal gasoline and diesel taxes over six years.
Introduced bill – H.R. 2971 – Highway Trust Fund Certainty Act (Rep. Rice) – immediate 10.1 cent per gallon gas and diesel tax increase, indexed for inflation thereafter, fully offset with a new working citizens tax credit.
Introduced bill – S. 981 – Invest in Transportation Act (Sens. Paul and Boxer) – repatriation holiday for overseas corporate profits to offset transfers to the HTF.
House Budget Committee – Status of the Highway Trust Fund: Long-Term Solutions for Solvency (April 2013 hearing)
Senate Finance Committee – New Routes for Funding and Financing Highways and Transit (May 2014 hearing)
House Ways and Means Committee – Long-Term Financing of the Highway Trust Fund (June 2015 hearing)
Senate Finance Committee – Dead End, No Turn Around, Danger Ahead: Challenges to the Future of Highway Funding (June 2015 hearing)
ANALYSIS AND OPTIONS FROM GOVERNMENTAL ENTITIES
Federal Highway Administration – Highway Trust Fund and Taxes (fact sheet, 2013)
National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission – Final Report (2008)
National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission – Final Report (2009)
Congressional Budget Office – The Highway Trust Fund and the Treatment of Surface Transportation Programs in the Federal Budget (2014)
Congressional Research Service – Funding and Financing Highways and Public Transportation (2013)
Government Accountability Office – Highway Trust Fund: Improved Solvency Mechanisms and Communication Necessary to Avoid Shortfalls in the Highway Account (2009)
Government Accountability Office – Highway Trust Fund: All States Received More Funding Than They Contributed in Highway Taxes from 2005 to 2009 (2011)
Government Accountability Office – Highway Trust Fund: Pilot Program Could Help Determine the Viability of Mileage Fees for Certain Vehicles (2012)
Government Accountability Office – Highway Trust Fund: DOT Has Opportunities to Improve Tracking and Reporting of Highway Spending (2014)
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials – America’s Transportation Future: Redefining Our Way Forward (2015)
Federal Highway Administration – Highway Cost Allocation Study (1997)
Joint Committee on Taxation explanation of why increasing excise taxes has the effect of reducing income and payroll tax collections (2011)
ANALYSIS AND OPTIONS FROM NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS
The Life and Death of the Highway Trust Fund: How We Pay For Transportation (Eno Center for Transportation, 2014)
The Road to Sustainable Highway Spending (Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, 2015)
Strategies for Defining the Core Federal Role in Surface Transportation (Bipartisan Policy Center, 2011)
Options to Fix the Highway Trust Fund (Tax Foundation, 2015)
Financing U.S. Transportation Infrastructure in the 21st Century (Brookings Institution – Hamilton Project, 2015)
Tools for Replacing the Federal Gas Tax (Transportation for America, 2015)
Highway Trust Fund Basics: A Primer on Federal Surface Transportation Spending (Heritage Foundation, 2015)
Switching from a Gas Tax to a Mileage-Based User Fee (Center for American Progress, 2014)
Reforming the Highway Trust Fund (Cato Institute, 2015)
A Primer on Federal Surface Transportation Reauthorization and the Highway Trust Fund (Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, 2014)
Restoring Trust in the Highway Trust Fund (Reason Foundation, 2010)
Getting Beyond Gridlock (American Road and Transportation Builders Association, 2015)
HISTORICAL ARTICLES AND PAPERS
The Federal Excise Tax on Gasoline and the Highway Trust Fund: A Short History (Congressional Research Service)
Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956: Creating the Interstate System (Federal Highway Administration)
Busting the Trust: Unraveling the Highway Trust Fund, 1968-1978 (Federal Highway Administration)
Reagan Devolution: The Real Story of the 1982 Gas Tax Increase (Eno Center for Transportation) plus a 506-page PDF compilation of original documents from the Reagan Library detailing the decision-making process.