Highway Trust Fund: Improved Solvency Mechanisms and Communication Needed to Help Avoid Shortfalls in the Highway Account

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Highway Account within the Highway Trust Fund is the primary mechanism for funding federal highway programs. The account-- administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) within the Department of Transportation (DOT)--channels about $33 billion in highway user excise taxes annually to states for highway projects. Although DOT and others projected that the account could run out of funds in fiscal year 2009, the balance fell more rapidly than expected and a shortfall became imminent in August 2008. In September, Congress passed legislation to provide $8 ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. February 6, 2009.

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Highway Account within the Highway Trust Fund is the primary mechanism for funding federal highway programs. The account-- administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) within the Department of Transportation (DOT)--channels about $33 billion in highway user excise taxes annually to states for highway projects. Although DOT and others projected that the account could run out of funds in fiscal year 2009, the balance fell more rapidly than expected and a shortfall became imminent in August 2008. In September, Congress passed legislation to provide $8 billion to replenish the account, but DOT officials anticipate the account could reach a critical stage again in fiscal year 2009. This report (1) describes the events that led to the decline in the account balance, including how DOT responded, and (2) identifies potential improvements in mechanisms to manage account solvency. This report also includes information on strategies GAO has reported on in the past that could be used to better align account outlays and revenues. To conduct this work, GAO analyzed information in legal and budget documents, reviewed account estimates, and interviewed agency officials and stakeholders."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • February 6, 2009

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Highway Trust Fund: Improved Solvency Mechanisms and Communication Needed to Help Avoid Shortfalls in the Highway Account, report, February 6, 2009; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc300679/: accessed October 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.