Legislative alert – funding for transportation

This legislative alert just came through from Metro CEO Art Leahy’s office:

House Ways and Means Committee Mark-Up Slated For Tomorrow On Transportation Authorization Bill – Transit Funding Faces Serious Threat

Tomorrow, the House Ways and Means Committee is slated to mark-up the tax title of the surface transportation bill issued earlier this week by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The text of the bill emerging from Ways and Means Committee makes significant changes regarding the flow of federal Highway Trust Fund dollars into the Mass Transit Account. Specifically, the bill being advanced by Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) would end the use of gas tax revenues for public transportation. In the place of Highway Trust Fund transfers to the Mass Transit Account, the bill proposes to create a new “Alternative Transportation Account”. As of this moment, no dedicated funding stream for the new “Alternative Transportation Account” has been identified. Our agency, along with the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), strongly opposes the proposal to end the practice of using motor fuel tax revenues to fund public transportation projects. The change proposed by the House Ways and Means Committee represents a clear threat to the robust federal transit funding supported by our agency and transportation agencies across the nation. According to APTA, the “Reallocation of funds would eliminate a dependable and predictable source of funding for much needed investment in the nation’s transportation infrastructure.”  We will be communicating our concerns to all members of the House Ways and Means Committee, including Rep. Xavier Becerra, who is a senior member of the committee.