I was reading my June issue of “Better Roads” and read an article about Senate bill 903. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) has introduced legislation titled “Highway Fairness and Reform Act of 2009 which would allow states to keep the money that it collects on federal fuel taxes.
States that pay into the Highway Trust Fund, such as Oklahoma, could opt out of receiving highway maintenance and construction funding via the federal formula. Instead these opt-out states would instead get a rebate back for the fuel taxes that were collected and sent into the federal government for fuel taxes collected within the states boarders.
Hutchinson says the current funding formula is no longer serving the best interest of each states and that “we must add highway capacity in areas where populating and commercial growth is exceeding what our infrastructure can withstand. Likewise, our funding structure must change to meet these shifting priorities.”
Like the Texas, Oklahoma is a donor state with $0.84 being returned for maintenance and construction. Texas is even lower at a $0.799. In the last couple years, Oklahoma has faired better with earmarks for specific projects, such as the cross town relocation of I-44.
The Heritage Foundation has written a nice article about this issue. They call for correcting the inequities in the formula a priority in the 2009 reauthorization of the federal highway program. Written by Ronald D. Utt, Ph.D.
Oklahoma is in dire need of proper funding for its roads and bridges. The greatest deficiency in lack of funding is the County Highway system, which consist of county section line roads and bridges. Contact your Senator and Congressman and ask them to follow S. 903.