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FHA highway funds are skewed because strings are attached

FHA data suggests that, in 2012, only four states--Arizona, South Carolina, Texas and Utah--got back less than $1 for highway funding for every $1 the state's residents paid in federal highway gasoline taxes. So why complain?

Proponents of the Transportation Empowerment Act, such as the conservative Heritage Foundation, argue that the return-on-investment data from the FHA is skewed because the federal money comes with strings attached, namely requirements to pay laborers locally prevailing wages and to comply with federal environmental impact laws. Some conservatives argue such requirements add undue costs to projects, although the degree is a matter of some debate.

The federal dollars also "cannot be used for routine maintenance such as filling potholes or removing snow." Land's ad specifically shows images of potholes, and it's true that the state cannot spend federal money to fix them. Every state tacks on its own gasoline tax, which can be used on routine maintenance.

Source: FactCheck.org PacWatch on 2014 Michigan Senate debate , Aug 29, 2014

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