Highway Trust Fund Running on Fumes
According to a recent forecast by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) is once again running short of funds. Outlays from the HTF, which support federal spending on transportation programs, have long exceeded the fund’s revenues, which mostly derive from a federal gas tax that has not been raised since 1993. A transfer from the general fund under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act extended the solvency of the fund, but CBO estimates that funding is available to support the HTF’s highway account only through fiscal year (FY) 2021, and its transit account only through FY 2020.
This Issue Brief revisits the funding issues surrounding the HTF, and examines CBO’s latest forecast.