Conventional state and federal gas tax collections are not keeping pace with the transportation needs of a growing population and economy. Americans are driving less, using less motor fuel, and taking more trips via public transit. Escalating demands on the region’s ports, airports, rail and highway system will continue with expected tourism and freight transport increases. These trends are expected to continue.
Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) standards for new cars will increase from 35.5 MPG in 2016 to 54.5 MPG in 2025. Federal gas tax revenues are expected to fall 21 percent by 2040. Florida can expect a similar impact on state gas tax collections.
Since 2008, the Federal Highway Trust Fund has required over $54 billion in taxpayer subsidies/transfers from the country’s general fund, primarily for financing highway maintenance and road improvements. It is estimated that an additional $12 billion per year subsidy from the federal general fund will be required to extend current transportation funding levels beyond 2014. Because of inflation and reduced revenue the purchasing power of motor fuel taxes has decreased by 80 percent over the last 22 years.
By 2022, the projected federal highway trust fund balance is expected to run at a $109.6 billion deficit. The traditional methods for funding the region’s future transportation needs are not sustainable. Achieving the region’s vision for a globally competitive multimodal transportation system will require alternative means of funding.