Governor Deval Patrick's Budget Recommendation - House 2 Fiscal Year 2009

Governor's Budget Recommendation FY 2009

Transportation Reform

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Governor Patrick    FY09 House 2 Budget Recommendation:
    Issues in Brief

    Deval L. Patrick, Governor
    Timothy P. Murray, Lt. Governor




The release of the Transportation Finance Commission (TFC) report and the collapse of the I-35W Bridge in Minneapolis, have focused the public's attention on the Commonwealth's transportation systems. The Patrick-Murray Administration has been working over the last few months to identify reform initiatives to better coordinate statewide transportation policy, more effectively manage statewide transportation systems and more efficiently utilize our transportation-related resources to increase desperately needed investments in our transportation infrastructure. Governor Patrick's FY09 budget takes some preliminary steps toward broader reform proposals by improving transparency and accountability for transportation finance and by providing resources to begin to implement reform initiatives.

Implementing Transportation Reform

Bold reforms are needed to regain public trust in the management of our transportation systems and to more effectively leverage our transportation resources to increase investments in our transportation infrastructure. The Patrick-Murray Administration has been working with consultants, legislators and other stakeholders to develop proposals to more effectively and efficiently manage and finance our transportation systems. Although these proposals are still being developed, the Administration expects that it will need to file separate legislation to implement major reform proposals once they are fully developed. The Administration expects that there will be certain reform initiatives, however, that will not require separate legislation to implement. Consequently, the FY09 budget includes $1M in line item 1599-9003, Transportation Reform, to allow the Administration to act expeditiously to implement much-needed reforms to achieve efficiencies as soon as possible.

Transparency and Accountability

For many years, funding the Commonwealth's transportation infrastructure and programs has been achieved through an antiquated system of confusing splits between different budgetary funds, making it difficult to identify transportation-related revenue and transportation-related expenses. For example, in the past, certain transportation-related revenues have flowed directly to the Highway Fund, and others have flowed directly to the General Fund. Similarly, certain transportation-related expenses have been paid from the Highway Fund, and others have been paid from the General Fund.

Governor Patrick's FY09 budget simplifies and clarifies funding for transportation by directing all transportation-related revenues to the new Transportation Fund (formerly the Highway Fund) and funding all transportation-related expenses, including debt service on bonds issued for transportation purposes, from that Fund. The fund will be used to finance highway maintenance and safety services and to finance the state's share of federally sponsored highway projects as required.

Transportation Fund Balance Sheet Revenues
Description FY09 Projected
Motor Fuels Tax$673,691,218
Departmental Revenues ($455.7M total)
    Executive Office of Transportation$844,601
    MassHighway Department$10,541,929
    Mass. Aeronautics Commission$417,320
    Registry of Motor Vehicles$443,382,480
    Dept. of Revenue/Other$514,088
Transportation Fund - fringe assessment$-83,500,000
Registry fees transfer to the Transportation Infrastructure Fund (TIF)$-5,540,997
Description FY09 Projected
Executive Office of Transportation$62,811,982
Registry of Motor Vehicles$62,027,947
Mass Aeronautics Commission$621,036
DCR Parkway Operations$4,800,000
Transportation-related Debt Service$704,474,940
CA/T Debt Service$103,459,023
Grant Anticipation Notes Debt (GANS)$45,664,000
Route 3 North Contract Assistance$23,700,022
MA Turnpike Authority Contract Asst.$25,000,000
Merit Rating Board$8,936,219
Transportation Reform Reserve$1,000,000
Transportation Fund Balance$-65,862,690
  • For the purposes of a consolidated balanced budget, the projected deficiency
    in the Transportation Fund is offset by a surplus in the General Fund.
  • The Motor Fuels Tax excludes the 0.15 per cent pledged to the Inland Fish
    and Game Fund.

Through this reform, our gas taxes, registry fees and other transportation-related revenues will be appropriately dedicated to the care and maintenance of our highways, roads, bridges and other transportation infrastructure and to the services provided by the Commonwealth to users of our transportation systems. In addition, this reform in the FY09 budget provides the Commonwealth and the public with a more transparent and true accounting of our transportation revenues and expenses and of the extent to which transportation expenses need to be subsidized by non-transportation related General Fund receipts.

Prepared by the Executive Office for Administration and Finance • Rooms 373 & 272 • State House
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