President Obama today, March 18, approved legislation extending the federal highway program through Dec. 31. The program has been operating under several short-term extensions since the current highway bill, SAFETEA-LU, expired in October 2009. The bill also injects $19.5 billion of General Fund money into the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) to temporarily keep the HTF solvent. In addition, the measure includes two changes that will provide a permanent increase infunding to the HTF. It allows the HTF to collect interest for the first time in more than a decade, and it shifts the burden of subsidizing government vehicles, which are exempt from the fuel tax, to the General Fund. Together, these changes will add more than $1 billion to the HTF annually.
Posted on Sun, March 21, 2010