State and local governments provide most of the funding for critical infrastructure systems, but spending has declined over the last 50 years.
The Highway Trust Fund (HTF), established by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, was the first dedicated funding source for highway construction and maintenance. For most of its history, the HTF was well in the black. Over the past fifteen years, however, expenditures have routinely exceeded revenues.
Of the more than 1,800 mass transit systems in the United States—including those running trains, buses, or other transport modes—roughly 2 percent reported that fare revenue exceeded operating expenses in 2013.
Federal taxes, which are constant across states, amount to 18.4 cents per gallon—of which 15.44 cents go to the highway portion of the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), 2.86 cents to the mass transit portion of the HTF, and 0.1 cent to maintaining underground storage tanks). State taxes on gasoline vary considerably.