Mid-session revenue estimate shows little change in HTF revenue

News AASHTO Journal July 19, 2006
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The administration recently released the Mid-Session Review update of revenue estimates showing a substantial reduction in the estimated Federal budget deficit for fiscal year 2006 but no significant change in estimated Highway Trust Fund revenues.

The Bush administration, citing an 11% improvement in revenue estimates, projected that the Federal budget deficit would fall to $296 billion from the February forecast of $413 billion for fiscal year 2006. This is a level slightly below the fiscal year 2005 deficit of $319 billion.

In related estimates, the revenue to the Highway Trust Fund showed little change from the February numbers. The Highway Account estimate projects a positive change of 1.4% ($400 million) or a rise from $34.051 billion to $34.536 billion. In contrast, the Transit Account showed .06% reduction ($30 million) from $5.015 billion to $4.985 billion for the fiscal year ending September 30th.

Based on the administration's February 2006 projections, the Highway Account could be in deficit as much as $2.6 billion by fiscal year 2009, the last year of SAFETEA:LU.

The Mid-session estimates did little to change that possible outcome with a little more than a 1% estimated change in the Highway Account revenue through 2009. In contrast, the Transit Account is estimated to average a 1.4% decline in revenue through 2009.

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