Law & Order

Federal Study: Recreational Trails Program Not Receiving Its Fair Share of Tax Revenues


By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released a study that concludes the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) should receive nearly $300 million annually, rather than the $84 million currently allocated from its portion of federal gas tax receipts. The amount is based on an analysis of fuel used for non-highway recreation from the $.18-per-gallon federal taxes collected at the pump.

The U.S. Congress directed the FHWA to conduct the study so that the revenues can be adjusted. RTP funds are used to construct and maintain trails for all types of activities, including motorized, non-motorized and mixed-use trails (off-roading, snowmobiling, hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, etc.).

SEMA is urging Congress to adjust RTP revenues as it considers legislation to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure. SEMA also supports a stand-alone bill, H.R. 1864, Recreational Trails Full Funding Act of 2021, that would increase RTP funding to the FHWA study amount.

Questions? Contact Stuart Gosswein at