The 18.4-cent per gallon federal tax that you pay at the pump is used for all sorts of highway projects across the U.S. Keeping the “Highway Trust Fund” solvent is a challenge on a good day — the tax hasn’t risen in years and costs have — and now the fund is embroiled in the federal budget debate in Washington.
Here’s the latest legislative update from Metro’s government relations team:
Plan to Ensure Solvency of Federal Highway Trust Fund Emerges From U.S. Senate’s “Gang Of Six”
As the House, Senate and White House continue to struggle to deal with the federal debt ceiling, a group of U.S. Senators has embraced a deficit plan that includes, among others elements, the goal of ensuring the future solvency of our nation’s federal transportation program. The plan, by six U.S. Senators known as the “Gang of Six” would seek to direct $133 billion in federal funds secured from tax reforms and direct that money into the federal Highway Trust Fund through the year 2021. The broad outlines of the plan do not envision raising the federal gas tax, which currently stands at 18.4 cents per gallon [24.4 cents for diesel fuel]. The “Gang of Six” is composed of Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Kent Conrad (D-ND), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Warner (D-VA). Our agency and federal advocates will continue to be closely engaged on issues related to the future of the federal Highway Trust Fund, which is the main source of the programmatic and project-based funding we receive on an annual basis from the federal government.