In an effort to plug a hole in its transportation fund, the state of Vermont plans to use nearly $1 million in federal “toll credits” to ease its shortfall.
Transportation Secretary Neale Lunderville listed $950,000 in credits
as part of a plan to deal with a projected $10.5 million deficit for roads.
State officials this summer revised their estimate of what the
transportation fund would collect in fiscal year 2007 by $950,000, The Associated Press reported. Sagging
fuel tax revenues resulting from fewer miles traveled due to escalating prices
at the pump and more fuel-efficient vehicles were cited for the revision.
According to Lunderville, the Vermont Agency of Transportation’s plan
that was presented to lawmakers won’t jeopardize federal funds, harm
municipalities that rely on state aid or delay major projects, The AP reported.
The toll credits are geared to states that need money to maintain their
toll booths. However, capital improvements to ferry systems, such as the Lake
Champlain Ferries in Burlington, also are eligible for the credits.
When a state taps into the funding source, it can count those expenses
against its share of the matching funds it must put up for a wide range of
projects. Typically, 80 percent of the tab is picked up by the federal
government while the state pays for 20 percent.
The bulk of Lunderville’s plan to deal with the deficit for roads
relies on $3.6 million allotted to the agency for discretionary spending to
help out during financial emergencies, The
AP reported. Another $1.9 million will be saved by delaying some