H.R. 5021, Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014

Cost Estimate
July 11, 2014

As ordered reported by the House Committee on Ways and Means on July 10, 2014

CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 5021 would reduce direct spending and increase revenues. In total, those changes would reduce budget deficits over the 2014-2024 period by an estimated $9.9 billion. The legislation also would transfer about $9.8 billion from the general fund of the Treasury to the Highway Trust Fund to facilitate continued spending from that trust fund. CBO’s estimate of the effect of H.R. 5021 on budget deficits does not include the effects of such a transfer; however, the budget resolution passed by the House of Representatives considers transfers from the general fund of the Treasury to the Highway Trust Fund to be new spending.

Major provisions of the legislation would:

  • Extend the spending authority for certain surface transportation programs,
  • Extend the authority to collect fees charged by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and
  • Allow single-employer defined benefit pension plans to use higher interest rates when calculating their future liabilities for the 2013-2020 plan years. Using higher interest rates would reduce the minimum contributions that employers are required to make to such plans, leading to increases in offsetting receipts, direct spending, and revenues. CBO expects that the bill would increase the amount of underfunding in such plans.

Pay-as-you-go procedures apply because enacting the legislation would affect direct spending and revenues.

CBO has reviewed the nontax provisions of H.R. 5021 and determined that they contain no intergovernmental mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments. The staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) has reviewed the tax provisions of H.R. 5021 and determined that they also contain no intergovernmental mandates.

CBO has determined that the nontax provisions of the bill would impose a private-sector mandate, as defined in UMRA, by extending customs fees. CBO estimates that the cost of the mandate would well exceed the annual threshold established in UMRA for private-sector mandates ($152 million in 2014, adjusted annually for inflation). JCT has reviewed the tax provisions of H.R. 5021 and determined that they contain no private-sector mandates.