Peters confirms diversion of highway, bridge money

| 8/17/2007

U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters this week confirmed what OOIDA has already reported – that a big chunk of fuel tax dollars end up paying for things other than roads and bridges.

In an interview on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS, Peters said “I think Americans would be shocked to learn that only about 60 percent of the (fuel) tax they pay today actually goes to highway and bridge construction.”

Peters said in the last highway bill, about $24 billion went to special, “earmarked” projects, and for things such as museums, bike paths and the maintenance of lighthouses.

“Land Line Now” on XM Satellite Radio reported similar numbers last week, based on research by OOIDA staff member Rene Hill.

In her research, Hill used the year 2005 as an example, and showed that 35 percent of the fuel tax dollars collected that year ended up being spent on things other than general road and bridge work.