The national account to fund America’s highway construction and other transportation is nearly empty. The revenues that go into the Highway Trust Fund, which come from a federal 18.4 cent per gallon tax on gasoline, are expected to dip below $4 billion in July. Congress has transferred monies from the general fund in four of the past five years (the yellow stars above) into the Highway Trust to make up for the shortfall from the fuel tax.
In anticipation of the fund’s drawdown, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx alerted said that the federal Department of Transportation would go into “cash management,” possibly delaying payments for state road projects.
Several members of Congress have sponsored legislation to prop up the HTF, including Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, who offered a $9 billion patch to tide the fund over to the end of this December without drawing money from the federal budget. Wyden’s proposal relies on a mix of five revenue sources. From Rollcall:
The biggest of them would be a change in how inherited individual retirement accounts are paid out to heirs.
Under current law, a 25-year old who inherits an Individual Retirement Account from a parent could collect payments for the rest of his life, with a required minimum distribution of money from the IRA each year.