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January 16, 2013 4:15 PM, EST

AASHTO Backs $50 Billion in Transportation Infrastructure Bonds

The head of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials said Wednesday that Congress should pass legislation for a $50 billion bond program to fund needed transportation projects.

Such a program “would create thousands of jobs, stimulate economic recovery and improve mobility in every state,” said John Horsley, AASHTO’s executive director.

The Transportation Regional Infrastructure Project bond program would give every state $1 billion over six years for transportation and be paid for through U.S. customs fees, Horsley said at the Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting in Washington.

He also proposed that Congress convert the excise tax on fuels to a sales tax, and set it to an amount that would restore solvency to the Highway Trust Fund, which AASHTO says is currently spending $15 billion more annually than it receives in revenue.