Surface Transportation Reauthorization

Highway users pay for the maintenance and improvements on our nation’s roads and transit systems through user fees, often referred to as the “gas tax.” All the money collected from these user fees goes into the Highway Trust Fund, which is used specifically to finance surface transportation improvements and nothing else. In recent years, however, the existing gas tax has been proven insufficient as a funding source, in part because the gas tax was not indexed for inflation and in part because of unexpected drops in receipts as gas prices have risen and fuel efficiency standards have increased. The federal-aid highway system provides vital economic development, safety improvements, and good jobs, and it requires a dedicated source of funding.

The Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012 was signed into law by President Obama on July 6, 2012, reauthorized federal surface transportation programs and extended the authority to appropriate funds from the Highway Trust Fund through September 30, 2014.