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Tennessee Transportation Funding: Challenges and Options

Transportation Funding

January 2015

Author: Susan Mattson



In the last several years, revenues dedicated to transportation have stagnated in Tennessee and across the country. Tennessee’s fuel taxes are not expected to be sufficient to maintain existing infrastructure and meet long-term transportation demands. This report is in response to a 2014 request from the Fiscal Review Committee of the Tennessee General Assembly. The purpose of this study is to provide an overview of Tennessee’s current financing system for highways and bridges, outline challenges to the existing system, and review alternative funding methods. The report is intended to provide objective analysis for state legislators to consider. It does not make recommendations, address the level of funding needed, or propose how funds should be spent. The study focuses on funding for highways and bridges, and does not specifically address funding for air, rail, water, and mass transit transportation systems.