AASHTO Journal, 31 August 2012
Based on its mid-year review of the federal budget, the Congressional Budget Office published its latest projection of the Highway Trust Fund between 2012 and 2022.
CBO estimates that the Highway Account will end fiscal year 2012 with a balance of $8.7 billion and that the Mass Transit Account will end FY 2012 with a balance of $4.7 billion. CBO also estimates that both accounts will be unable to meet obligations at some point in 2015, although the Mass Transit Account may have some difficulties in FY 2014, depending on cash flows into and out of that account. It is important to note that these figures reflect a $18.8 billion transfer to the Highway Trust Fund through the General Fund to help finance these accounts up until 2015.
These updated estimates did not include the effects of the earmark reprogramming action that the Obama Administration announced on Aug. 17 (see related story: bit.ly/AJearmark).
According to CBO, in comparison to its March 2012 baseline, there were minor changes attributable to the recently-enacted MAP-21 surface transportation legislation. These spending changes include a small increase in the Mass Transit Account and a small decrease in the Highway Account. In addition, CBO notes that estimated revenues have decreased somewhat due to the low interest rate credited to the Highway Trust Fund Balances.
The full Highway Trust Fund projection is available at bit.ly/HTFprojection.