Sixty percent of state and local investment in transportation and water infrastructure is financed using tools that impose costs on the federal government: tax-exempt bonds, tax credit bonds, state banks, and direct federal credit programs.
In 2017, spending by federal, state, and local governments for transportation and water infrastructure totaled $441 billion. This slide deck updates information that CBO released in 2015.
Federal spending on highways does not correspond very well with how the roads are used. CBO examines three approaches lawmakers could consider to make highway spending more productive.
To show how transportation funding is handled in CBO's cost estimates, this slide deck provides a guide to the agency's 2012 estimate of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act.
How can lawmakers address the imbalance between revenues and spending in the Highway Trust Fund? How does the unique budgetary classification of surface transportation programs limit the effectiveness of standard spending controls?
With its current revenue sources, the Highway Trust Fund cannot support spending at the current rate. The fund’s projected shortfalls have generated increased interest in borrowing by state and local governments to finance highway projects.