The current federal surface transportation law, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), is set to expire at the end of September. MAP-21 made several changes to federal transportation programs that shifted funding away from the infrastructure owned by counties and other local governments. In fact, under MAP-21, the funding available for locally owned bridges and Federal-aid highways decreased by 30 percent.
As the owers of 45 percent of the nation's roads and 39 percent of the nation's bridges, it's critical that counties urge Congress to repair this discrepancy and fix the cracks in funding for locally owned infrastructure.
Action Item: Show your members of Congress how MAP-21 impacted the funding available to locally owned infrastructure in their state and ask them to support county priorities the next surface transportation bill.
Action Item: Share information with NACo and your members of Congress about projects that will be halted, delayed, or even canceled if Congress doesn't fix the Highway Trust Fund. The Congressional Budget Office recently projected that the Highway Trust Fund will have insufficient revenues to meet its obligations stating in FY 2015, with delays in reimbursements from the highway account occurring as early as this summer. NACo is asking members to complete the following survey questions and submit their results to Jessica Monahan via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. County Name:
2. County State:
3. County population:
4. What approximate federal, state and local dollars make up your county’s FY 2015 transportation budget? (please break out by source, if possible)
5. List up to five key projects in your county that would be halted or not started if there is a freeze in federal funding from the Highway Trust Fund in FY 2015 or soon after. Also, please provide a brief description of why the project is critical to the transportation system at any or all of the following levels: county, state, national, and/or international. In addition, please note if any of the projects primarily aim at improving or addressing safety.
6. If possible, please list the number of county staff positions supported by federal dollars.
7. Does your state and/or county have sufficient financial capacity to assume responsibility for the federal share (typically 80% of a project’s cost) to continue current and future project construction if federal funds are unavailable?
8. Please provide any additional relevant information regarding federal funding for your county’s transportation projects.
Once you’ve completed this information, we would like you to share it with your local media outlets so we can highlight the potential impacts of the Highway Trust Fund’s upcoming fiscal cliff (and MAP-21’s expiration) for local communities. Please send any news clips generated through this action to me via email at email@example.com.