Federal Highway Program Could Be Out Of Money Next Month

Thursday, July 10th 2014, 9:17 am
By: News 9

We have new details on a potential financial crisis that could impact each and every one of us. In less than a month, the federal government could run out of money used to maintain our roads and highways.

That could happen by the end of August. The program that funds transportation projects, specifically for our highways, could run out of money.

We are talking about the Highway Trust Fund. If the funds go away, the government will have to cut back on the money it sends to states. That could cause a domino effect.

Some state could halt or delay planned projects. In terms of money, one estimate says some $47 billion in state projects are at risk. And the White House says this could impact about 700,000 jobs.

So why is the fund running out of money? The Highway Trust Fund was financed by the federal gas tax, but inflation has taken away the value of that tax. Plus, Americans are driving less and buying more fuel-efficient cars.

Congress could avoid all this by putting money into the Highway Trust Fund. However, there are some differing views on how to do this.

Some ideas are they could raise the gas tax and cut transportation spending. Some analysts think Congress will come up with a temporary fix, but this problem could come back in a few months if that happens.