|Connecting America - 1999 Report to the Nation||
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The Federal Highway Trust Fund (HTF) is the principal source of funds for federal surface transportation programs. Established by the Highway Revenue Act of 1956, and extended periodically through subsequent legislation, the HTF receives revenues from excise taxes on gasoline, diesel, and other motor fuels, as well as several excise taxes related to heavy trucks. The current rate of federal taxation for gasoline is 18.4 cents per gallon, and 24.4 cents per gallon for diesel fuel. The HTF has two accounts: Highway and Mass Transit. The programs of FHWA are supported by the Highway Account. Revenues to the Highway Account of the HTF by category for FY 1999 are shown at right.
Current law requires that a portion of the revenue to the HTF accrues to a Mass Transit Account, used to finance federal transit programs. The amount accruing to the Mass Transit Account equals 2.86 cents per gallon of the federal gasoline and diesel taxes, and a portion of other fuel taxes. In FY 1999, the Mass Transit Account was credited with $5,477,927,289.
The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century and prior highway authorization acts provide for the apportionment and allocation of funding to the states in the form of contract authority. This allows the FHWA to enter into project agreements with states in advance of appropriations providing for cash reimbursements. The obligation of federal funds constitutes the federal government's commitment to pay a state for the federal share of a project's cost, and occurs when a project is approved and a project agreement is executed. Reimbursements, or cash outlays, occur upon request by a state after costs have been incurred.
The following illustrates the amount of money spent on various types of improvements or highway projects in 1999.
The following shows the total level of federal-aid funding obligated for highway-related activities from 1987 to 1999.