TranspoAdvocate News

State & 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.


Feb. 2: State Transportation Funding News Roundup

Feb. 2: State Transportation Funding News Roundup

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) on Jan. 31 released a proposal to stabilize the state’s dwindling Special Transportation Fund by increasing the state gas tax by 7 cents-per-gallon (phased in over four years), implementing statewide electronic tolling over the next five years, accelerating an already-approved proposal to transfer the car sales tax to the transportation fund, and creating a new $3 fee on tire purchases. The announcement comes three weeks after the governor and the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) announced the indefinite postponement of $4.3 billion worth of transportation projects until new revenue is approved. In his speech, the governor pointed to several other states that have increased their gas tax recently to make necessary investments in transportation funding. Read More>>

West Virginia Transportation Secretary Tom Smith told state lawmakers on Jan. 29 that legislation to increase transportation funding approved last year is already making an impact on the state’s transportation infrastructure, with 300 projects on 1,000 miles of secondary roads already completed or ready for work. An additional $800 million in projects— half of a $1.6 billion bond approved by West Virginia voters in October— are planned to go out for bid in May. Read More>>

Despite transportation funding legislation signed into law in 2015, Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Director Kirk Steudle warned on Detroit Today Feb. 1 that road conditions will continue to deteriorate. Read More>>

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) told reporters on Feb. 1 that he would possibly consider a transportation revenue increase if it was offset by tax cuts elsewhere, particularly if needed to maximize federal matching funds. Read More>>

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Feb. 1: Twenty-seven States Introduced Nearly 100 Transportation Funding Bills in First Month of 2018

Feb. 1: Twenty-seven States Introduced Nearly 100 Transportation Funding Bills in First Month of 2018

Twenty-seven states have introduced almost 100 transportation funding bills in the first month of 2018.

Four states— Hawaii, Missouri, Mississippi, and Nebraska— have proposed raising taxes on motor fuel in order to fund needed transportation infrastructure improvements, with more expected to follow as additional states begin their 2018 legislative session in February.

Continuing the trend from previous years, electric vehicle fees remain a hot topic. Eight states are considering legislation to implement a new registration fee for electric motor vehicles to ensure these drivers pay their fair share for wear and tear on roads and bridges. Six of those states also included new hybrid motor vehicle fees in the proposal.

States are also exploring options outside of traditional transportation funding. Three states— Kentucky, New Hampshire, and New York— have proposed road usage charge pilot programs to increase transportation funding.

The largest categories of proposed transportation funding legislation include local funding (24 bills in 10 states) and non-fuel tax recurring revenue (22 bills in nine states).

Read the report.

Follow ARTBA-TIAC on social media (@ARTBA or #ARTBATIAC) or subscribe to the TranspoAdvocate blog for updates on state transportation funding legislation throughout 2018.

NEW!— Visit ARTBA-TIAC’s “State Legislation” page for live updates on state transportation funding legislation!

Jan. 26: State Transportation Funding News Roundup

Jan. 26: State Transportation Funding News Roundup

The Arkansas Department of Transportation (ArDOT) on Jan. 25 withdrew a dozen road construction projects involving maintenance on existing roads or safety improvements from February’s bidding process, citing federal funding uncertainty. Read More>>

A new poll by The Salt Lake Tribune and the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics has found that more Utah voters would support a higher state gas tax to improve the state’s road network than would oppose it. The results, sourced from 803 registered voters, found that 14 percent ‘strongly supported’ a gas tax increase for transportation purposes, and 36 percent ‘somewhat supported’ the concept. Four percent had no opinion, while the remaining 46 percent – let’s do the math for them.. ‘somewhat opposed’ or ‘strongly opposed’ such a measure. Read More>>

New Mexico drivers are paying an additional $2.4 billion annually, or as much as $2,040 per driver in some areas, due to the poor condition of roads, according to a report released Jan. 24 by The Road Improvement Program (TRIP) research group. The New Mexico Department of Transportation is facing a $500 million annual funding shortfall, further exacerbating these issues, stalling projects, and leading to an increase in infrastructure deterioration. Read More>>

Arizona is facing a $30 billion transportation funding shortfall over the next 25 years, according to the Rural Transportation Advocacy Council’s Kevin Adam at a Tri-City Council meeting on Jan. 16. The limited funding could result in a halt to new transportation construction projects. Read More>>

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Jan. 26: State Transportation Funding Legislation Roundup

Jan. 26: State Transportation Funding Legislation Roundup

Transportation Funding Proposals

  • Connecticut Rep. Jason Rojas (D-East Hartford) announced his plan on Jan. 23 to propose a 4 cents-per-gallon increase in the state gas tax to close the state’s transportation funding shortfall. The legislature’s 2018 regular session begins on Feb. 7.
  • Utah’s Transportation Governance and Funding Task Force, appointed by the state legislature in 2017, revealed draft legislation on Jan. 25 that would increase fees on electric and hybrid vehicles and create a transient room (hotel) tax and local option sales tax to aid in transit development. The proposal would also authorize the Utah Department of Transportation to begin a study on a road usage charge pilot program.

Transportation Funding Legislation Introduced

  • A bill has been introduced in Colorado to ask voters for approval to issue transportation revenue anticipation notes (TRANs) bonds of $3.5 billion, with a maximum repayment of $5 billion.
  • Maine is joining at least three other states by proposing new fees on electric and hybrid vehicle, to ensure these vehicles are contributing revenue to address the wear and tear caused by motor vehicles on the state’s transportation infrastructure.
  • An Oklahoma bill was pre-filed to create a $150 registration fee on electric motor vehicles and a $30 registration fee for hybrid motor vehicles. Legislation approved in 2017 to institute such fees was approved by the state legislature and governor, but struck down by the state Supreme Court over questions on the process by which it was approved.

Transportation Funding Legislation Advancing

  • After a drafting error in 2017 legislation that cost the Idaho Department of Transportation $27.5 million in expected revenue, the state’s Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee voted unanimously on Jan. 18 to correct the error and transfer the sum plus interest to the agency. The bill must pass both houses and get governor approval to go into effect.
  • An additional bill in Colorado to issue $3.5 billion in bonds for transportation projects passed the Senate Transportation Committee on Jan. 23 with a vote of 3-2 along party lines, with Republicans in favor of the issue. The legislation is now with the House Finance Committee.

Follow ARTBA-TIAC on social media (@ARTBA or #ARTBATIAC) or subscribe to the TranspoAdvocate blog for updates on state transportation funding legislation throughout 2018.

Jan. 12: State Transportation Funding Legislation Roundup

Jan. 12: State Transportation Funding Legislation Roundup

As more state legislatures convene for the 2018 legislative session, transportation funding bills are proving to be a popular topic.

The Colorado Senate chose transportation funding as the first bill to introduce this year. Senate Bill 18-001 would divert 10 percent of state sales and use tax net revenue to the state highway fund, with revenue used primarily to pay back transportation bonds. If approved by the legislature, the bill would create a November ballot measure asking voters to approve $3.5 billion in transportation fund bonds.

Florida is joining other states in exploring new fees on electric and hybrid vehicles. Introduced legislation would commission a report that studies possible fees on electric and hybrid motor vehicles, and the effect such fees would have on the state’s transportation fund.

A Nebraska bill would put a floor in place of $2.44 on the component of Nebraska’s variable-rate state gas tax that is calculated based on the average wholesale price of gasoline. (Read ARTBA-TIAC’s ‘Variable-Rate State Gas Tax‘ report for more information on Nebraska’s existing formula.)

Other bills introduced this week include:

  • Legislation to expand Alabama’s transportation infrastructure bank with additional revenue to service bond debt;
  • Several bills that would increase local funding in certain regions of Virginia; and
  • A Maine proposal to transfer 10 percent of the sales tax on “transportation-related items”— such as motor vehicles and products related to the repair and maintenance of motor vehicles— to the state’s Highway Fund.

Follow ARTBA-TIAC on social media (@ARTBA or #ARTBATIAC) or on the blog for updates on state transportation funding legislation throughout 2018.