To no one’s surprise in the transportation industry, the federal Highway Trust Fund is on the brink of bankruptcy. The Congressional Budget Office released a report on Jan. 31 that said the pot used for road and bridge construction will indeed be empty by the end of FY 2014.
“We’ve known for a long time that people are driving less and they are driving more fuel-efficient cars,” said U.S. DOT Secretary Ray LaHood. “That’s why the president talked about a transportation bill and a jobs bill; he talked about using some of the money from the two wars.”
According to the CBO, the Highway Trust Fund will have $12 billion at the end of FY 2012, which started in October 2011, and just $3 billion when FY 2013 comes to a close.
The federal gas tax brings in about $100 million a day, but that figure appears to be dropping. The California State Board of Equalization reported that gasoline consumption in the state declined for the eighth consecutive month. California motorists sucked up 1.23 billion gallons in October 2011, down 1.8% from October 2010.
“High gas prices appear to be directly affecting fuel consumption in California,” California State Board of Equalization Chairman Jerome Horton told the Los Angeles Times. “We’ll see what coming months show as California begins to turn the corner and shows signs of economic growth.”