The Congressional Budget Office today released its semiannual projections for Highway Trust Fund balances which are based on their assumptions about revenue and outlays. These estimates make no assumptions or projections about the results of the current reauthorization process. Instead, the estimate simply assumes contract authority at current levels and uses inflation factors on the obligation limitation (actual funding).
Based on these projections, CBO estimates that the Highway Account will be unable to meet obligations sometime in FY 2013 and that the Transit Account will be unable to meet obligations sometime in FY 2014. CBO notes that though the number of miles people are driving “is projected to increase as the economy grows,” that will largely be offset by continuing improvements in vehicle fuel economy. Absent any change in revenue sources, what growth the trust fund will see over the next decade will be due to excise taxes on the sale of diesel fuel and trucks.
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