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SAFETEA-LU in Montana. Montana did very well under SAFETEA-LU Authorized Program Increase over TEA-21 program of 42% Return on contributions to the Highway Trust Fund > 219% Contributions to the trust fund – Federal Fuel Tax Receipts SAFETEA-LU Nationally – $181.9 billion (’05 – ’09 hwys)

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SAFETEA-LU in Montana

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safetea lu in montana
SAFETEA-LU in Montana
  • Montana did very well under SAFETEA-LU
    • Authorized Program Increase over TEA-21 program of 42%
    • Return on contributions to the Highway Trust Fund > 219%
      • Contributions to the trust fund – Federal Fuel Tax Receipts
    • SAFETEA-LU Nationally – $181.9 billion (’05 – ’09 hwys)
    • Montana’s apportionments $1.775 billion (about 30% increase over TEA-21)
    • Due to the Equity Bonus Protection – Montana’s % share of program will not degrade over time (it did under TEA-21)

So –Where is the Money??

funding terms authorization apportionment obligation
Funding TermsAuthorization, Apportionment & Obligation
  • Authorization –
    • SAFTEA-LU is a 5-year Authorization Bill (2005-2009)
      • Sets the level of funds that can be used from the Highway Trust Fund for Title 23 USC programs.
      • Consider this the maximum program funding level in a perfect world – reality is much different.
      • Authorized amounts, called authority, is generally the published funding amount – it makes the best press release.
  • Apportionment –
      • How authority is distributed to states on a “by program” basis - (Intestate Maint., National Highway, Surface Transportation, etc)
      • Most Apportioned dollars are distributed based on a state’s characteristics (Interstate Lane Miles, Highway Trust Fund Receipts, Vehicle Miles Traveled, etc)
  • Obligation Authority
    • Actual Spendable Dollars!!
    • Generally is not program specific – the state’s have some level of program flexibility
    • Is never 100% of the available spending authority
    • Set each year during the Appropriations Process
      • Appropriations – annual budget process to establish program levels for the next Federal Fiscal Year.

Obligation Limitation Impact on MDT’s Core Program

Think of it as a refining process – FY ’06 as an example

$33.9 Billion


For National Program

Apportioned to


Reduced to reflect 87.1%

Obligation Authority

(set in annual Approps)

Core Program Apportionment

$333.4 million

$323.6 million

$281.9 million

This is what we can spend

on MDT Projects!

Less Non-Core

Section 1702


$9.8 million

For Comparison

FY 2003 Obligation Authority for Core Programs was $277 million


Approximately 70% of the projects named for Montana in Section 1702 were from MDT’s Core Program categories. The remaining 30% are directed to projects that are not MDT priorities.


SAFETEA-LU Funding Estimates

Little Actual Program Growth in Spendable Dollars




Spendable Dollars

FY 2003

When the obligation limit is taken into account – we see very little growth


Obligation limitation is 85% of Apportionment.

Years beyond FY 2009 estimates based on Highway Trust Fund balance projections


In-State Funding Distribution

State Wide Funding Distribution

  • Core Programs
    • 70% of funds – Follow’s TEA-21 Level of investment in these areas
    • This level of investment is necessary to maintain the integrity of the system (includes IM, NH, & STP - with EB distribution and HPP projects)
  • New Core Safety Program
    • Replaces STP Safety set-asides
    • An increase for safety at a greater rate than the overall program rate of increase
  • Secondary Program –
    • Increased by $2 million annually
  • New Urban Pavement Preservation Program
    • Projects selected by Locals and MDT DA’s
  • New Borders Program
    • Funds must be used within 100-miles of international border - non-transferable
  • New “X”-Route Program – Currently, these roads have no funding source
    • This program will allow MDT to use Federal funds on 30% of these “orphaned” roads.
earmarks above the line below the line
Earmarks Above the line/Below the line

In SAFETEA-LU “the line” divides what counts against a

state’s guaranteed percent share of the program.

  • Below the line do, above the line doesn’t.
  • What does this mean?
    • If a state has below the line projects named that are not identified priorities – it takes those funds away from the core program projects.
  • SAFETEA-LU Section 1702 – High Priority Projects
    • Below the line
    • 14 Named Projects – total $164.6 million
    • Count against MDT’s % Share of the program
    • 20% distributed each year of the bill
    • Again, Montana did very well.
      • About 70% of these projects came from MDT’s approved TCP – Critical to MDT’s program Delivery
  • SAFETEA-LU Section 1934 – Transportation Improvement Projects
    • Above the line projects
    • 19 Named Projects – total $153.625 million
    • Do not count against MDT’s share of the program
    • Stepped distribution – 10%,20%, 25%,25%,20%
  • For Both Above and Below the Line
    • Obligation authority available until expended
    • A state can “borrow” from other projects within that state to fund those that are ready at the earliest date
      • Don’t have to wait until FY’09 to receive the entire amount
      • All funds borrowed must be paid back by the end of this authorization.
      • One exception – House named projects are not eligible for the borrow provision

(S-323 Ekalaka to Alzada in MT)

    • All are subject to the Sliding Scale Match
      • 86.58% Fed / 13.32% Non-fed
      • MDT will match projects that are ours, other recipients must match their projects.