The U.S. Department of Transportation says the Bush administration is ready to deliver a reauthorization bill to Congress that provides $247 billion for highways and transit over the next six years. The move would mark a 19% increase over the level guaranteed by the current measure, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, which expires on Sept. 30.
The U.S. DOT says the new bill provides $195.2 billion for highways and $51.8 billion for mass transit in fiscal years 2004-2009. To fund the proposal, the U.S. DOT is looking to shift the 2.5-cent-per-gallon gasohol tax, which now flow to the general fund. This would raise approximately $600 million a year. The department also wants to spend down $1 billion per year of the trust fund balance and use it for a new Infrastructure Performance and Maintenance program aimed at immediate highway needs and at projects that can be implemented quickly.
The Bush administration continues to oppose a rise in motor fuels taxes, and has yet to take a stance on fuel tax indexing.