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.
Insights Into Successful Transportation Funding Campaigns to be Explored in July 12 Advocates Workshop
Twenty-two states have passed legislation to increase motor fuel taxes for needed transportation investment over the past four years. An in-depth analysis of recent successful campaigns is one of the topics to be explored at the 4th Annual “National Workshop for State & Local Transportation Advocates” on July 12 in Washington, D.C.
Four transportation advocates will provide a deep dive into their successful campaigns to increase state transportation funding, including insight into developing relationships with legislators, polling, traditional and digital marketing strategies, grassroots outreach, and more. Speakers will also present an in-depth explanation of the transportation funding packages passed in their states, with insight into why the bill succeeded, and best practices that can be utilized by other advocates seeking to increase funding in their own state.
- Jordan Marsh, vice president of the South Carolina Alliance to Fix Our Roads. Marsh’s campaign was instrumental in helping lawmakers pass the first state gas tax increase since 1987.
- Dennis Faulkenberg, president of APPIAN. Faulkenberg led the effort to increase Indiana’s state and local road funding by $1.2 billion annually.
- Michael Quigley, executive director of the California Alliance for Jobs. Quigley organized a comprehensive campaign that resulted in a $52.4 billion transportation funding increase through a combination of motor fuel and vehicle registration increases.
- Anthony Attanasio, executive director of UTCA NJ. Attanasio worked with lawmakers to find a compromise and pass a $16 billion transportation funding package, ending a three-month standoff that had halted all non-essential, state-funding transportation projects.
Other key sessions include:
- “Tried & True: Raising Motor Fuel Taxes to Support New Transportation Investment”
- “Alternative Transportation Funding Options”
- “2013 State Gas Tax Increases: Where are They Now?”
- “State Transportation Funding Champion Legislators”
- “State and Local Transportation Funding Trends”
- “Building America’s Economic Expressway Campaign”
- “Federal Transportation Funding Developments”
The Workshop, a signature program of the Transportation Investment Advocacy Center™ (TIAC), is being held in conjunction with ARTBA’s Public-Private Partnerships (P3) in Transportation Conference.
- The Missouri Senate voted May 10 to establish the “21st Century Missouri Transportation System Task Force” to evaluate the state’s transportation infrastructure, the state’s transportation funding, any shortfall the department is facing, and provide recommendations on how to improve the condition of the transportation infrastructure and funding situation.
- An Oklahoma conference committee released a compromise on May 16 to create a $100 registration fee for electric motor vehicles and a $30 registration fee for hybrid motor vehicles.
- A Louisiana bill to increase state motor fuel taxes passed the House Committee on Ways and Means with a vote of 9-7 on May 16. It is scheduled for a floor debate on May 24.
- Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (R) vetoed legislation on May 15 that would have redirected existing vehicle-related taxes as well as dedicate a portion of the state surplus to fund transportation priorities. Gov. Dayton called the bill “disheartening and wholly inadequate” and urged the legislature to find a long-term, sustainable transportation funding solution that would adequately meet the state’s needs. Read the veto statement >>
- Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) may call a special session to address the state’s long-term transportation funding needs.
- Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) vetoed a state budget bill on May 15 that would have transferred revenue from the highway fund, which would have triggered a two-tenths of a cent automatic gas tax increase.
- The South Carolina legislature voted May 10 to override Gov. Henry McMaster’s (R ) veto of H.3516. Read more about the bill, which includes a state gas tax increase, new electric and hybrid vehicle fees, and more. South Carolina is the fifth state to increase taxes on motor fuel to support needed transportation investment in 2017, and the 22nd state to do so since 2013.
- The Colorado legislature approved a bill on May 9 that will provide a $1.8 billion bond for transportation funding. Earlier in the week an alternate bill to transfer 5 percent of state sales tax revenue failed.
- Oregon lawmakers announced a plan on May 8 to raise $8.2 billion over the next 10 years for transportation funding. The plan would increase the state gas tax by 14 cents-per-gallon, raise vehicle registration fees, administer a one-tenth of 1 percent payroll tax for mass transit, create a 5 percent bicycle excise tax, and institute a dealer privilege tax of 1 percent on the purchase of new vehicles. The Joint Committee on Transportation Preservation and Modernization will meet Wednesday to discuss potential changes before introducing the proposal in the legislature.
- The Louisiana Senate unanimously voted on May 8 to remove the Louisiana State Police from receiving revenue from the Transportation Fund.
- New Mexico Gov. Susan Martinez (R) on May 7 vetoed legislation to increase the state gas tax by 10 cents-per-gallon and raise the motor vehicle excise tax.
- The Texas House voted 52-79 on House Bill 2861, rejecting the proposal that would have permitted the Texas Department of Transportation or regional mobility authorities to enter comprehensive development agreements in order to create public-private partnerships for transportation projects.
Since 2013, 22 states have increased taxes on motor fuel to support needed transportation investments. Additionally, Kentucky and North Carolina adjusted their variable-rate gasoline tax formula during this time in order to preserve or increase revenue for roads, bridges, transit, and more (Vermont and Utah also adjusted their recently-approved formulas during this time).
Looking back to 1997, 30 states and the District of Columbia have increased motor fuel related taxes 49 times.
Read a summary of each state gas tax increase approved 2013 through 2017.
Update May 10: The same day the legislature approved a gas tax increase, Gov. Henry McMaster (R) issued his expected veto. The South Carolina House voted 95-18 at 11:40 a.m. on May 10 to override the veto, and sent the bill to the Senate for consideration of a veto override. The Senate took up H.3516 at 1:30 p.m. ET and voted 32-12 to grant final approval of the legislation.
Original post: The South Carolina House concurred with the Senate on May 9 and approved legislation to raise an estimated $640 million annually in recurring revenue for road repair and maintenance.
House Bill 3516 includes:
- Gradually increasing the state’s fuel tax by 2 cents-per-gallon annually over the next six years, beginning July 1 (12 cents-per-gallon total, resulting in a state gas tax rate of 28 cents-per-gallon);
- Instituting a $120 fee for vehicles powered by anything other than motor fuel and $60 fee for hybrid vehicles;
- Increasing biennial registration fees for passenger motor vehicles by $16;
- Creating an ‘Infrastructure Maintenance Fee’, charged on the purchase of motor vehicles and capped at $500 (replacing the current $300 sales tax on motor vehicles);
- Instituting a $250 one-time fee for motor vehicles transferred from another state; and
- Charging out-of-state commercial truckers a fee based on miles driven annually within the state.
In exchange for these tax increases, several tax credits are offered to offset the cost, including an earned income tax credit, two-wage earner tax credit, tuition tax credits, and manufacturing, business, and personal property tax reductions. Additionally, South Carolina drivers will be able to obtain a rebate for the extra cost by itemizing gas and service costs on income tax returns (sunsets after six years).
H.3516 also imposes several South Carolina Department of Transportation reforms, including a governor-appointed commission of nine members (seven representing congressional districts and two at-large members).
Both chambers passed their own versions of H.3516 earlier in the year, and a bipartisan conference committee was appointed on May 3. The conference committee reported a compromise on May 5. The bill was passed in the Senate with a vote of 32-12 on May 8, and the House followed the next day with a vote of 99-20.
Both chambers passed the bill with a veto-proof majority, an important step as Gov. Henry McMasters (R) has vowed to veto the legislation. The last day of the session is May 11, but the legislature will return for sine die adjournment on May 23, giving lawmakers an opportunity to override a veto.
South Carolina last increased the state gas tax in 1987. If South Carolina approves H.3516, they will be the fifth state in 2017 to increase taxes on motor fuel to support needed transportation investment, and the 22nd state since 2013.
Visit TIAC’s South Carolina page to follow the progression of this bill, and to see past attempts to raise the state gas tax in South Carolina.