Highway Trust Fund: Improved Solvency Mechanisms and Communication Needed to Help Avoid Shortfalls in the Highway Account

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DIANE Publishing, 2009 - 28 pages
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The Highway Account within the Highway Trust Fund is the primary mechanism for funding fed. highway programs. The account -- administered by the Fed. Highway Admin. (FHWA) -- channels about $33 billion in highway user excise taxes annually to states for highway projects. A shortfall in the balance became imminent in Aug. 2008. In Sept., Congress passed legislation to provide $8 billion to replenish the account, but officials anticipate the account could reach a critical stage again in FY 2009. This report: (1) describes the events that led to the decline in the account balance; and (2) identifies potential improvements in mechanisms to manage account solvency. Includes strategies that could be used to better align account outlays and revenues.

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