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Foxx's First Goal: Find the Money!

Keith Laing, with help from Josh Schank of the Eno Center for Transportation, describes the reality facing the new Secretary of the Department of Transportation. With gas tax revenue dwindling and MAP-21 expiring next year, securing funds is crucial.
July 15, 2013, 8am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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According to Eno Center for Transportation President Joshua L. Schank, "funding for transportation – or lack thereof – will dominate most of Foxx's early tenure at the DOT."

Here are the stark revenue facts:

  • "The 18.4 cents per gallon gas tax only brings in about $35 billion per year to the federal coffers."
  • Revenue is decreasing due to increased fuel efficiency, more plug-in electric vehicles on the road that use little or no fuel, thus pay no fuel tax, and decreased driving due largely to demographic reasons.
  • Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) "contained approximately $54 billion (sic) spending for road and transit projects by relying on a patchwork of money taken from other areas of the federal budget" to make up for the gas tax shortfall.
  • "However, lawmakers in both parties have sworn that there will not be a repeat occurrence in 2014 when Foxx will be trying to steer a transportation bill through Congress.” 

Schank adds, “He’s coming into a situation with no revenue and the prospect [for increased funding] is bleak. Without new revenue, there’s limited influence you can have.”

Clearly, Foxx has his work cut out for him, but judging from his first blog on Fast Lane on July 2 after his swearing-in ceremony, he appears up for it.

Full Story:
Published on Saturday, July 6, 2013 in The Hill
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