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.
Voters in 12 states overwhelmingly re-elected 93 percent of 530 state lawmakers who supported a gas tax increase between 2015 and 2018 and ran for re-election in 2018. Winning state lawmakers in Nov. 6 races included 92 percent of Republicans, and 94 percent of Democrats, according to an analysis from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s Transportation Investment Advocacy Center™ (ARTBA-TIAC).
The preliminary numbers compare favorably to lawmakers who voted against a gas tax increase—90 percent of 211 state legislators who voted against a gas tax increase and ran for re-election won their races, including 88 percent of Republicans and 96 percent of Democrats.
The results are consistent with those over the last five years that show support for a gas tax increase does not hurt political careers. Including 2018, voters have re-elected 92 percent of over 1,890 state lawmakers who voted in favor of a gas tax increase since 2013. This support for lawmakers who approve a gas tax increase persists across party lines as well— over 90 percent of Democratic and 94 percent of Republican lawmakers were re-elected.
The complete report and an interactive map showing the state-by-state results can be found at www.transportationinvestment.org.
ARTBA’s government relations, economics and Transportation Investment Advocacy Center™ (TIAC) teams have produced two special reports to help you better understand the impacts of the Nov. 6 election results.
Democrats picked up 27 seats to take control of the U.S. House of Representatives; 17 House seats have not yet been called. In the Senate, Republicans added to their majority, which currently stands at 52-45. Senate races in Florida, Mississippi and Arizona are still to be called.
“Now we have a much easier path because the Democrats will come to us with a plan for infrastructure, a plan for health care, a plan for whatever they’re looking at, and we’ll negotiate,” President Donald Trump said during a Nov. 7 news conference discussing the House results.
ARTBA tracked a record 346 state and local transportation ballot investment initiatives in 31 states. Voters approved 272, or 79 percent, of those measures.
In the most closely watched initiative (Prop. 6), California voters beat back an effort to repeal an increase in the state gasoline and diesel motor fuels tax that had been previously approved by the legislature as part of a 2017 transportation funding law. That decision by voters will help preserve more than $50 billion for urgently-needed highway, bridge, transit improvements in California over a 10-year period.
For more details on the congressional election and transportation ballot results, and re-election rates of state legislators who supported gas tax releases, read the full reports below.
By Mark Holan, editorial director, ARTBA
An effort to repeal the 2017 law that increases California’s transportation funding by $5.2 billion annually tops the list of hundreds of ballot measures voters will consider Nov. 6.
“The attempted repeal of Proposition 6 in California is a real concern for the transportation construction community and the motoring public,” ARTBA Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black said during an Oct. 25 presentation at ARTBA’s Northeastern Region meeting, held in the Nation’s Capital. “If successful, it could lead to a wave of similar initiatives to roll back transportation infrastructure investment in other states,” she said.
Debate about the 12-cents-per-gallon gasoline, and 20-cents-per-gallon diesel, tax increases was lively and expected during last year’s legislative session in Sacramento, Black said. But now work has begun on transportation projects based on the additional funding.
ARTBA’s economics team earlier this year produced six reports showing the extra transportation infrastructure investment will generate between $9.7 billion and $34.5 billion of additional economic activity and user benefits in California’s major regions over the next decade.
The repeal effort is being driven by some congressional Republicans who are using the ballot measure to drive GOP turnout in an attempt to save the House from flipping to the Democrats.
A 10-cent-per-gallon motor fuels tax increase is also on the Nov. 6 ballot in Missouri.
State and local voters have approved an average 75 percent of transportation investment measures over the past decade. Last year’s approval rate was 82 percent.
ARTBA’s Transportation Investment Advocacy Center (TIAC) will produce a comprehensive report about the outcome of this year’s ballot measures the day after the election. Then, at 3 p.m. Eastern, Nov. 8, TIAC will host a webinar to review and discuss the results. Register now.
Since the start of 2018, ARTBA’s Transportation Investment Advocacy Center™ has tracked over 200 transportation funding bills considered in 40 states. Nineteen states have approved 27 measures related to, or increasing funding.
Legislation to increase or adjust the state motor fuel tax was introduced 26 times in 12 states. One state— Oklahoma— approved a gas tax increase. Another state— Missouri— is asking voters to approve a 10 cents-per-gallon gas tax increase on the November 2018 ballot. Additionally, Georgia approved extending the portion of its variable-rate formula indexed to the Consumer Price Index until 2022 (previously set to expire on July 1, 2018).
One-time funding (47) and non-fuel tax recurring revenue (37) were the most popular types of legislation introduced during the 2018 session. Nine one-time funding bills were approved in Georgia, Colorado, Mississippi, Michigan, North Carolina, Connecticut, and Minnesota, with an additional bill pending voter approval in Maine. Seven non-fuel tax recurring revenue bills were approved in Utah, Connecticut, Oregon, Kansas and Mississippi.
Fees on electric vehicles continued to be a topic of interest in 2018. Fourteen bills were introduced in 12 states, with legislation in Mississippi and Utah approved. Both states included a fee for hybrid vehicles as well.
Of the legislation proposed in the 2018 legislative session, 159 bills never advanced beyond the first chamber floor.
All but eight states have adjourned for the year, with two states – Florida and Kentucky – already beginning prefile for the 2019 legislative session. Only two states— New Jersey and Virginia— will carry over legislation from 2018 to 2019. Statewide ballot measures are pending in Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, Colorado, Connecticut, and California.
Thousands of voters will consider questions on creating or maintaining state and local transportation funding when they cast their ballots on Nov. 6. Join ARTBA’s “Transportation Investment Advocacy Center” on Thursday, Nov. 8, for an in-depth webinar that will explore those ballot measures and their results, the impact and historical trends, and more. Experts will also share insight into congressional races, federal funding, and the reelection of lawmakers who voted on a gas tax increase. Additionally, a state advocate will provide a deep dive into California’s Proposition 6, a measure to repeal the 2017 state gas tax increase, including the campaign and its results.
The free webinar begins at 3 p.m., Eastern, but requires advance registration. Space is limited.
The session will feature:
Dave Bauer, executive vice president of advocacy, ARTBA. Bauer will discuss the results of the 2018 general election congressional races, and what they mean for the transportation construction industry. Bauer will also share his insight on transportation funding developments on Capitol Hill.
Carolyn Kramer, director, ARTBA-TIAC. Kramer will discuss the outcome of state, county and local transportation funding ballot measure results. She will also explore results from previous years and transportation funding trends. Additionally, Kramer will provide insight into the latest research that explores the reelection rates of over a thousand state lawmakers that have both supported and opposed gas tax increases in 12 states.
Orville Thomas, director of government affairs, California Alliance for Jobs. After the 2017 passage of a state transportation funding increase worth an estimated $5.4 billion annually, anti-tax proponents swiftly launched a campaign that asked voters to repeal the legislation on the November 2018 ballot. Thomas will provide an overview of the comprehensive campaign to preserve the transportation funding increase, results of the measure, and the state’s transportation construction outlook.
The Transportation Investment Advocacy Center™ is an internet-based educational platform that features detailed reports, analyses and case studies of recent transportation funding campaigns—both successful and unsuccessful—mounted in numerous states. It includes television, radio and print ads, polling, an overview of state and local funding and finance mechanisms, and an ongoing blog detailing new developments across the nation.
The Center’s program of work is also guided by the Transportation Investment Advocates Council™, a national network of business professionals and public officials who share a common interest in building support for transportation infrastructure investments in their state or local community.
Please contact Carolyn Kramer at email@example.com with any questions.