Transportation “Fiscal Cliff” Looming?

As Eric The Younger mentioned yesterday, the federal transportation bill is up for renewal next September. Some are warning of a transportation “fiscal cliff” and yesterday Keith Golden, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation had this to say on the subject:

Golden spoke Tuesday to the Rotary Club of Dalton, where he warned the agency does face a major funding issue in 2015 if Congress does not pass another transportation bill. Previous federal transportation bills have not expired for five or six years after their passage, but the current transportation bill, passed in 2012, expires on Sept. 30, 2014.

“People say there’s no chance Congress won’t pass a transportation bill by then. Well, our job is to let them know what will happen if they don’t,” Golden said.

He said that without a new transportation bill GDOT will have no new federal authorizations for construction projects in 2015.

“We couldn’t do any design work. We couldn’t buy any right of way. We couldn’t start any new construction projects. We would continue with the projects that are already underway, but no new projects,” he said.

Absent a new bill, the money for new construction would resume in 2016 but at a much lower level.

Golden pointed out the federal gas tax does not meet the nation’s transportation budget and the Georgia DOT relies on the federal government for about 80% of their funding.

Discuss.

11 comments

  1. Dave Bearse says:

    Of course it’s only a two year bill, even though all other transportation bills since the early 1990’s lasted for 6 years of more. The GOP’s paramount goal is obstruction. We’ll see how that works out for the GOP at the polls.

  2. Harry says:

    Well see how putting the country into insolvency, trashing the dollar, and breaking the middle class works out for Democrats at the polls.

    • saltycracker says:

      The direction is government subjugation objected to by proponents for the law of the jungle. Being middle class would require a balance that has been erroding over time.

  3. Will Durant says:

    There is also the small matter of the billions of dollars in GARVEE (Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle) and GARB (Grant Anticipation Revenue Bonds), written by Sonny and Gena to concern Mr. Golden. Though it is still beyond me as to how getting back a lesser percentage of federal motor fuel tax monies payed in by Georgia motorists is considered a “grant”.

    • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

      Good point and good reason for states like Georgia to stop sending tax money to Washington so that those states can get back less revenue than what they originally sent.

      • Charlie says:

        I believe the point that you’re missing is that a Governor from 3 years ago has borrowed against those revenues and those revenues are currently used to pay debt service instead of new projects and/or maintenance.

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