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Furthermore, the effect of current FHTF cross subsidies is to take money from users in the relatively unpopulated southern states and send it to the more highly populated northern ones.
Pisarski's third concern is that the abolition of the FHTF would de-link taxes on road use from expenditures on highways, thus opening the door to increased fuel taxes for the benefit of general revenues.
In this particular case, the ship has already sailed--a nickel of the federal tax on a gallon of fuel already goes to general revenues, and another penny is dedicated to "transit." Pisarski, who wants assurances that "all user-fee dollars paid into the FHTF are ...
The federal government is constrained from taxing fuel not by the existence of the FHTF, but by the potential wrath of road users who, fortunately, are politically stronger in the United States than are their counterparts in other countries.
A new system of "revenue alignment" should be extended that assures that all user-fee dollars paid into the FHTF are, in short order, spent on transportation projects instead of being held in Washington, D.C.
Even with the need for reform, I believe the FHTF is an efficient way to cover national transportation needs, and that dissolving the system would leave motorists open to considerable government mischief.
Hence, the FHTF was never a trust fund in any meaningful sense, and its custodians are under no obligation to spend its revenues for the benefit of road users.
Congress is free to attach any conditions it wishes to the appropriation of FHTF revenues, and also is free to decline to appropriate them so that they can accumulate to reduce the overall budget deficit.
The main achievement of the FHTF was a dramatic improvement of the U.S.
* The FHTF encourages expenditures on new roads rather than the maintenance of existing ones.
* Rules on the use of FHTF funding require states to adopt regulations, such as the Davis-Bacon and "Buy American" provisions, that can raise highway costs by 20 percent or more.
* The provision of FHTF money hampers innovation and flexibility in the financing and operation of roads.
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- FHTA from Here to Awesome