Troubles with transportation funding

MASON CITY, Iowa - Road construction season is upon us, but the funding behind these projects is now a growing concern.

Many drivers on the road today have fuel efficient cars and unbeatable miles-per-gallon ratios, and while that might be beneficial to you and your pocket book, it is actually impacting the federal highway fund.

As consumers pay less for gas, or fill up less often, not as much of the fuel tax is going into the federal fund.

According to a recent report, the fund will need at least $10 billion just to get through this year of construction, and that’s a number that State Rep. Josh Byrnes can’t ignore.

“The federal trust fund and the funding they provide to states for road projects and stuff, as of October 1st of this year that fund will be empty,” Byrnes says, “they’ve basically spent that fund down faster than they’ve collected dollars.”

With federal funding being tight, that means that many of the state road projects this summer will need to be funded in other ways.

Congress says that they need to assign money to pay for highway and road projects by July if the state wishes to be reimbursed, however if they don’t come up with money by then, the states will have to come up with the funds on their own or cut back on road projects altogether.

Byrnes says that he is hopeful the conversation of implementing a fuel tax will come up again during the 2015 legislative agenda.

He believes that this piece of legislation will not only help fund road projects and rebuilding our infrastructure, but it will be taxing the folks that actually use the roadways the most and fill up at pumps across the state.

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