Transportation Infrastructure:

Estimated Funding Under the Transportation Empowerment Act

RCED-97-73R: Published: Feb 11, 1997. Publicly Released: Feb 11, 1997.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO: (1) provided its analysis comparing what states received under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) with what they might have received under the proposed Transportation Empowerment Act (TEA 2); and (2) verified the Federal Highway Administration's (FHwA) analysis of TEA 2.

GAO noted that: (1) the verification of FHwA's analysis proved difficult, because the assumptions governing it were not documented, and at times FHwA officials were not certain how the data were derived or what financial categories were included; (2) nonetheless, with the cooperation of and data received from officials in FHwA's Office of Budget and Finance and Office Policy, GAO corrected problems with FHwA's analysis and identified data sources and assumptions to use in GAO'S analysis; (3) GAO's analysis is dependent on the assumptions inherent in TEA 2, such as that all states increase their state gas tax by the same amount that the federal tax is decreased; (4) GAO's analysis is also based on the assumption that unpaid obligations from prior years are financed from federal fuel taxes, with the remainder of the tax revenues to be available to the states; (5) GAO also provided that part of its analysis that shows what is available for distribution to the states after past obligations are paid off and funds go to the core federal program as proposed in TEA 2; and (6) since its analysis assumes that the total tax receipts equal the total outlays, there is no expected impact on the federal budget.

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