State’s Ailing Roads & Bridges Robbed of Trust Fund Money
For Release: Immediately, October 29, 2009
Highway Robbery: State’s Ailing Roads & Bridges Robbed of 65 Percent of Highway & Bridge Trust Fund Money
DiNapoli: State Siphoned Money to Pay for Operations and Debt Service
Since 1991, just 34.9 percent, or $11.6 billion, of the money in the state’s Dedicated Highway and Bridge Trust Fund went directly toward the repair and improvement of the state’s deteriorating roads and bridges, according to a report released by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today at a press conference on Long Island. DiNapoli’s report notes that the Division of Budget projects the percentage of capital spending will decline to 21 percent in fiscal year 2013-14. Approximately $3.9 billion will need to be transferred from the state’s General Fund to the Highway and Bridge Trust Fund over the next five years to meet the Trust Fund’s obligations.
“Only one-third of the money in the Highway and Bridge Trust Fund has actually been used to pay for highways and bridges,” DiNapoli said. “The rest has been siphoned off to pay for debt service on back-door borrowing and to fund operational costs for the DMV and the state Department of Transportation.
“This money should be going toward keeping our roads and bridges safe, not to fund state agency operations. The bridge closing in Crown Point is just one more example of why this is so important. If this trend continues, the state will have to transfer nearly $4 billion into the Trust Fund over the next five years. Using this dedicated capital money to pay for operations and debt service is just one more gimmick on the list of New York’s bad fiscal choices.”