TranspoAdvocate NewsState & Local Funding News
TIAC staff tracks the latest state and local transportation funding news and provides regular updates on TranspoAdvocates News. To contribute to these efforts, contact Carolyn Kramer.
Due to additional transportation revenue from a 2015 fuel tax increase, the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Fiscal Year 2019-2023 Improvement Program released May 8 shows over $1 billion dedicated to improve state-owned bridges and $1.8 billion to modernize and improve the safety of Iowa’s highway system. Read More>>
Kentucky lawmakers on April 14 warned that the state will need to provide new transportation revenue in the next two years to preserve federal funding. Read More>>
Transportation projects in Tennessee are being accomplished with the help of 2017 legislation that increased the state gas tax, a Department of Transportation representative said May 10. Read More>>
Transportation funding advocacy doesn’t end once legislation is approved! Join fellow transportation champions in the Nation’s Capitol on July 18 to learn how a California coalition is mobilizing to protect a $5.4 billion transportation funding increase from anti-tax proponents. Michael Quigley, executive director of the California Alliance for Jobs, will provide a deep dive into 2017 legislation and the challenges it faces after passage. Attendees will walk away with new insight to help anticipate arguments against a gas tax increase, and tools to defend the increase as well as those lawmakers who supported it.
Register for the 5th Annual “National Workshop for State & Local Transportation Advocates” to hear this, and more real-life challenges and success stories of state transportation funding campaigns. Learn what states have raised or are trying to raise new transportation revenue, why they are doing so, what revenue streams they are exploring, who the major players are, and campaign tactics and strategies.
Transportation investment champions from around the country will share best practices, playbook secrets and other keys to success in advancing state and local legislative and ballot initiatives that boost transportation infrastructure investment. Other sessions include:
- An overview of state transportation funding trends and initiatives, plus a preview of what’s to come on 2018 state and local ballots;
- An update on federal transportation funding and efforts to permanently fix the revenue stream for the Highway Trust Fund;
- In-depth exploration of short- and long-term transportation funding techniques being explored by states;
- How states ‘set the stage’ for a transportation funding increase;
- Advice from state lawmakers on succeeding in your transportation funding campaign;
- And more!
The Workshop is being held in conjunction with ARTBA’s 30th annual “Public-Private Partnerships in Transportation Conference.”
Connecticut lawmakers approved a compromise deal within the state budget on May 9 to accelerate the transfer of the sales tax on cars from the general fund to the transportation fund, and utilize bonds ($250 million in General Obligation bonds, which will be repaid from the general fund, and $750 million in Special Tax Obligation bonds) for an additional $1 billion over five years in road, bridge and transit funding. The new revenue will prevent cuts to transit and the suspension of transportation projects that would have occurred on July 1. There is concern that the amount is not sufficient to stabilize the transportation fund, and several lawmakers predict the issue will be picked up again in next year’s legislative session.
Minnesota Senate Republicans on May 9 proposed an additional $174.6 million bond earmarked to fund projects along Highway 14, in addition to the $825 million in transportation bonds already being discussed by the House and Senate.
Colorado legislation to increase state transportation funding (read details of the bill here) passed the Senate unanimously and the House 36-29 on May 8.
Read details about these bills and more on TIAC’s “State Transportation Funding Legislation” page.
Colorado lawmakers reached a deal on May 7 to provide revenue from the state’s general fund— $495 million in 2018, $150 million in 2019, and $50 million annually thereafter— and a $3.25 billion bond in order to fund transportation projects throughout the state. The bond, which would be subject to voter approval in 2019, will only go forward if both transportation ballot measures on the November 2018 ballot fail to generate enough voter support to pass.
House Speaker Crisanta Duran (D- Denver) and Senate President Kevin Grantham (R- Canon City) announced the compromise after months of debate and within days of the May 9 legislative adjournment date. Revised Senate Bill 1 now goes back to the legislature for final approval in both chambers.
The ability for states and cities to partially fund transportation projects with “new, non-Federal revenue” will be a factor when applying for grants through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Infrastructure Investments program this year. Credit will be given for states that increased taxes or tolls for transportation revenue going back to January 2015. Read More>>
The closure of 500 Mississippi deficient bridges has inconvenienced residents, caused unnecessary wear-and-tear on vehicles, created concerns over emergency services, and affected students’ ability to get to school on time and school districts’ fuel costs, according to residents. Read More>>
A recent poll by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy found that 84 percent of likely voters in Mississippi believe it is the legislature’s job to find a solution for the state’s transportation fund shortfall, and two-thirds of respondents would support a phased-in fuel tax increase as a solution. Read More>>
After questions arose over lack of funds in a county road and bridge program, Oklahoma State Department of Transportation officials said May 1 that $230 million has been diverted from the account over the past four years to non-transportation programs. The agency is unable to fund new projects until the revenue has been replenished. Read More>>
The I-95 Corridor Coalition began its interstate mileage-based user fee pilot study with 120 participants on May 1. The first phase will conclude on July 1, with the second phase— a multi-state truck pilot program— beginning in 2019. Route I-95 stretches along the East Coast from Florida to Maine.
A plan to increase four local taxes to fund a Nashville transit plan that would have included light rail failed to gain traction with voters, with 64 percent voting against the measure on May 1. Read More>>