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Local Highway Finance: Guidance for the FHWA-536 Form

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Highway Information Seminar
  November 16, 2011
  Ralph Erickson

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Guide: Chapter 11

  • Report Identifying Receipts And Expenditures Of Local Governments
  • Data required
    • Biennial report for odd-numbered data years
    • Some States report the FHWA-536
      • Every year
      • Every other year
  • Report deadlines (Guide, Chapter 1)
    • Data for odd numbered years (2011, etc.)
    • Due October 1 of the following even-numbered year (October, 2012)
    • FHWA recommends doing the FHWA-536 every year

 

Overall Considerations

  • Fiscal year versus calendar year
    • Your choice, consider:
      • Coordination with other reporting requirements
      • Best data
      • Most timely
  • General Fund funding versus dedicated funding
    • Different ways to develop and report
  • Cash versus accrual accounting
    • FHWA requests all reports on a cash basis

 

General Observations

  • Highway Finance re-assessment soon underway
  • Often, property taxes generate significant local revenues
  • Several States administer all roads in the State

 

Form FHWA-536

  • Your data permits the FHWA to develop a series of national tables depicting the financing of highway activities at the local level
    • LGF Series
    • LGB Series
  • Ultimately, FHWA summarizes highway funding by all levels of government
  • Local funding is a major portion of the total
    • Roughly 35%
  • Reporting four basic areas of local highway finance:
    • Section 1: Disposition of highway-user revenues
    • Section 2: Revenue identified by source and type of funds
    • Section 3: Expenditures identified by purpose or activity
    • Section 4: Local highway debt status

 

Section I: Disposition of Revenues

  • Tracks spending of all highway-user revenues that are available to local governments
    • Local
      • Motor fuel taxes
      • Motor vehicle taxes
    • State
    • Federal
  • Adjustments
    • Collection expenses
    • Non-highway purposes
    • Mass transit

 

Section II. Receipts for Road Purposes

  • Funds from all sources applied to local highway purposes
  • Fund sources include
    • Local highway user fees
    • Local General Fund appropriations
    • Proceeds of bonds and notes
    • Private contributions
    • State government
    • Federal government
  • Details on page 2 of Form

 

Section III. Expenditures for Road Purposes

  • Expenditures of funds for local highway purposes
    • Local highway expenditures include:
    • Local highway capital outlays
    • Maintenance, traffic control, snow removal Administration, enforcement, safety
    • Debt service on local obligations
    • Payments to State governments
    • Payments to toll facilities
  • Details on page 2 of Form

 

Section IV. Local Highway Debt Status

  • Records local government highway debt:
    • Debt status
    • Change in status
    • Amounts are recorded at par value – the face value
  • See Chapter 9 for general description and instructions reporting highway debt information