Albany, NY - Billions of your tax dollars meant to fund state road projects are being funneled into other parts of the state budget.

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Albany, NY - Billions of your tax dollars meant to fund state road projects are being funneled into other parts of the state budget.

A new report out Wednesday from the State Comptroller's Office shows the Dedicated Highway and Bridge Trust Fund is not really that dedicated at all.

While our state highways and bridges have taken a beating this winter, the State Comptroller says the fund set up to fix them is being siphoned off to pay off debt and pay for day-to-day operational expenses including snow removal.

Any time you fill up your car, rent a car or pay a fee at the DMV, you are contributing to the Dedicated Highway and Bridge Trust Fund. That money is supposed to pay for capital road projects and fix out-dated bridges. The percentage of the highway taxes being spent on our highways is shrinking.

In one of its first years, more than half of the fund paid for capital construction. By 2012, that number dropped to just 22-percent. It is expected to drop to less than 21-percent over the next five years.

"If someone's paying taxes on their gasoline, they want to know that their roads are being fixed," says State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer.

Ranzenhofer is on the Transportation Committee and he is not pleased with where the majority of the money is going.

"It's called swept. You know, swept from the highway fund into other areas of the budget. I mean, it's a dedicated funding for a very specific purpose, and that's what it ought to be used for," he says.

"The highways could use some help right now. There are a lot of potholes. What do you do to make sure the money doesn't get used elsewhere? What can you do?" asked Channel 2's Kelly Dudzik.

"Well, there's a couple of things. Number one is just to keep a very close eye on where the money is being spent. It's supposed to be used for capital. For asphalt, for concrete, and things like that. It's not to be used for general operations," says Ranzenhofer.

But that's exactly where the majority of the money is going. Ranzenhofer calls it a bad practice that has been used for generations.

Ranzenhofer says the highway fund is not the only one getting hit.

"Money for environmental funds is used for general purposes. Money for UB is used for general purpose spending. It's just wrong. And, what we are commissioned to do, what we have to do is make sure that that money is not taken out of those accounts but used for the intended purposes," he says.

You can read the Comptroller's report here: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/reports/trans/dhbtf020413.pdf

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