Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has written all the state DOTs (departments of transportation) to warn them that it will have to delay highway funding reimbursements if Congress doesn’t act to shore up the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), soon. A federal tax on gasoline and other fuels is the primary revenue source for the HTF.
The fund has suffered because the per gallon tax hasn’t been increased since 1993 and vehicles have become more efficient. “The situation remains dire,” Foxx wrote in a June 19 letter that came about six weeks after states were first formally warned of an impending shortfall in the trust fund’s highway account. The trust fund cannot run a deficit thanks to the Antideficiency Act, so DOT is left with few options as the balance continues to fall. There is no consensus in Washington DC as to how to deal with the HTF. As of this writing, it will expire in 23 days unless Congress does something.