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Monday, February 10, 2014    

CBO: Transportation bill will need $100 billion in new taxes or fund transfers

A new six-year transportation bill would require $100 billion in new revenue such as tax increases or fund transfers from the U.S. Treasury's General Fund to maintain current spending levels, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) announced last week.

The CBO projects the Highway Trust Fund's (HTF) highway and transit accounts won't have enough funds to meet obligations starting in fiscal-year 2015, according to a report on the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials' (AASHTO) website.

However, the CBO also determined that it's possible the HTF could run out of funds before the existing surface transportation bill, MAP-21, expires on Sept. 30. The CBO estimated that the trust fund will total about $17 billion less than its spending per year during the next 10 years.

"This is partially due to the stagnation of HTF revenues, as CBO expects the HTF tax and interest receipts to not increase over the 10-year budget window. The amount of revenue expected in 2015 — $39 billion— is estimated to remain generally flat through 2024," AASHTO officials said.

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