Posts Tagged "transportation funding"
With a large number of state legislatures convening as the new year gets underway, it’s worth a look back at an important trend from 2013: States stepping forward to raise additional money for transportation. With federal funding remaining flat in 2012′s transportation bill (MAP-21) and after years of deferred action during the long recession, a large number of states, metro areas and local communities moved to supplement federal dollars with new revenues of their own.
Is the per-gallon gas tax going the way of the full-service filling station? To look at the flurry of proposals coming out lately, you might think so. Since the start of the year, major new proposals from industry leaders, governors and state legislatures have sparked a new debate over the ways we collect revenue collection for transportation — at the federal, state and local levels. Industry groups have proposed creative ways to essentially raise the gas tax. At the same time, 2013 already has seen several ambitious proposals for funding transportation outside of the excise tax on gas.
Down-to-the-wire negotiations late last night between President Obama, House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid resulted in a budget deal containing about $38 billion in reductions from current spending levels and the prevention of a government shutdown. The High Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail program will receive $1 billion, a reduction of $1.5 billion from the previous year, and the New Starts program — a key revenue source for transit projects throughout the country — loses $280 million, though the figure is reportedly sufficient to fund projects that have already received grants from USDOT.
Compromise on two-week spending bill temporarily spares crucial transportation programs from deep cuts
The federal government will keep the lights on next week after the U.S. Senate easily approved a two-week stopgap measure containing $4 billion in spending cuts. The vote was 91-9. Only two budget items – $650 million from a one-time Federal Highway Administration program – and a handful of legislative earmarks are transportation related.
President Obama gave an interview to five columnists aboard Air Force One last week, talking at length about infrastructure, transportation, and the need to make serious reforms in transportation spending — hinting at how proper investments in transportation can help boost the economy while making the downpayment on a 21st Century transportation system we’re all hoping for.