plans to slice $9 billion in federal aid to state highway programs
next year. A drop in fuel tax collections and shrinking truck sales
are listed as the primary reasons for the reduction.
government pitches in for road projects across the country through
taxes on fuel and truck and tire sales. The money - about $28 billion
a year - is put into a national highway trust fund and distributed
annually to states based on the amount of fuel sold and other factors.
available to states have increased each of the past three years.
But an analysis by the Treasury Department, released this month,
shows the funds will shrink about 28 percent during the next budget
across the nation will likely be delayed or canceled because of
the drop in federal funding, says a spokesman for the American
Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. For
most projects, states are required to supplement the federal money
with at least 20 percent of their own. AASHTO says those states
are not likely to be willing or able to pick up the slack when
the federal money vanishes.
biggest losers of highway funds will be California, Texas, Florida,
Pennsylvania and New York. AASHTO also estimates the cuts will
likely cost the construction industry 144,000 jobs nationwide
when the projects they were working on are dropped.