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In an Election Year, Transportation Matters

by Kelsey Stafford | Nov 01, 2016
2016 Presidential Election

During an election year, things often hang in the balance and transportation funding questions are not any different. Ensuring a permanent solution for highway trust fund revenue solutions has been a bi-partisan effort in recent years. Unfortunately the five year Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act signed into law in 2015 fell short of providing a permanent funding solution.

The FAST Act (P.L. 114-94) that President Obama signed provides $43.1B for highways in fiscal 2016 from the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) up from $37.8B in fiscal 2015, and $9.3B out of the HTF for mass transit from $8.6B in 2015.

No matter who is elected in November key transportation issues are at stake including:

  • Ensuring that the law passed in 2015 is realized in 2017. The Congressional Budget Office states that most of the federal taxes to support infrastructure improvements including allocated gas taxes collected will fall well short of the need.
  • Restoring a user-fee mechanism that originally built our interstate highway system to ensure the $15B per year revenue gap in the HTF is bridged.
  • Developing a long-term Federal investment for airports.
  • Keeping policy reforms to stream line environmental and approval processes for federally funded highway and transit projects.

Both presidential candidates have campaigned that addressing transportation infrastructure shortfalls will be addressed during their first 100 days in office.

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