Successful Legislative Campaigns

California’s 2017 Transportation Funding Legislation

California lawmakers on April 6 approved a plan to boost transportation funding by $5.24 billion annually through a combination of motor fuel and vehicle registration increases. The bill, which narrowly passed along mostly party lines, is projected to raise $52.4 billion over the first 10 years, which will be used to fund road and bridge maintenance and improvements, as well as transit and trail infrastructure.

 

New Jersey’s 2016 State Motor Fuel Tax Increase Legislation

On Oct. 7, 2016, New Jersey lawmakers approved legislation to increase the state gas tax by 23 cents-per-gallon and the diesel tax by 27 cents-per-gallon (effective Nov. 1, 2016) in order to generate $2 billion annually in new revenue for transportation infrastructure. Combined with matching federal funds and bonds, the legislation is expected to enable $32 billion in transportation investment over the next eight years. As a compromise to balance the tax increase, the measures also include several tax cuts.

South Carolina’s 2016 Transportation Funding Bond Measure

South Carolina lawmakers created short-term transportation funding legislation that utilizes over $200 million in existing fees to borrow approximately $2.2 billion to fund major interstate and bridge projects over the next decade. This 2016 bill also gives the Governor much more influence in the selection of members to the Commission of the Department of Transportation, which provides regulatory oversight to the use of transportation revenues included in this legislation.

North Carolina 2015 Transportation Funding Increase

In 2015, North Carolina state lawmakers prevented a dramatic motor fuel tax cut, eliminated Highway Fund transfers, raised Division of Motor Vehicle fees, increased the tax on out-of-state motor vehicle purchases, and permitted municipalities to increase their local vehicle sales tax. By doing so, the state raised a total of $1.2 billion in additional transportation revenue availability for Fiscal Year 2016-2017, including $440 million annually in new revenues.

Connecticut Transportation Bond- SB 1501 (2015)

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) signed into law on August 2 legislation to permit $2.8 billion in transportation bonds. The bonds will be used to fund the first five years of Gov. Malloy’s “Let’s Go CT” program, a 30-year plan to upgrade the state’s highways and bridges, expand the rail system and bus service, and improve airports, ports, bike and pedestrian paths, and freight systems.

Michigan Transportation Funding Package (2015)

After a measure to increase transportation revenue failed to be approved by voters, Michigan lawmakers passed legislation in November 2015 to increase the state gasoline and diesel fuel taxes to 26.3 cents-per-gallon; tax alternative fuels at the state motor fuel tax rate; establish an alternative fuel dealer license and fee; increase registration fees by 20 percent; and create a new annual fee for electric-powered motor vehicles.

RHODE ISLAND: HOUSE BILL 7133 (2014)

A bill to increase the state gas tax by 1 cent-per-gallon (starting July 1, 2015), revisited every two years to reflect increases based on the rate of inflation; increase vehicle inspection fees from $39 to $55; and raise court fees drivers pay to dispute fines for traffic violations from $25 to $50. H 7133 (Article 21- Relating to Transportation) also transferred existing motor vehicle fees and surcharges, previously deposited into the General Fund, to the Rhode Island Highway Maintenance Account.

VIRGINIA: HOUSE BILL 2313 (2013)

This successful legislative campaign with the Virginia state legislature produced a five-year, $3.4 billion transportation investment bill that, among other changes, replaced the state’s gas tax with a sales tax on motor fuel.  The legislature passed the bill in March, and Governor McDonnell (R) signed this overhaul of the transportation funding system into law in May.  The new law scrapped the gas tax, raised the sales tax, established a tax on wholesale gas and diesel, and charged registration fees for hybrid, electric and alternative-fuel vehicles.

MARYLAND: HOUSE BILL 1515 (2013)

This successful legislative campaign in the Maryland state legislature resulted in the enactment of a transportation gasoline/sales tax package that has been projected to generate $830 million per year for road and public transportation improvements.  This law raised taxes on gasoline in stages over a four-year period – with a roughly four-cents-per-gallon increase on July 1, 2013.  More specifically, the law established a new three percent sales tax on wholesale gas, which will be introduced over a three-year period.  This law also automatically adjusted the flat tax on gas to account for changes in inflation.

OHIO: HOUSE BILL 51 (2013)

In 2013, the Ohio state legislature delivered an increase in transportation funding.  Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) signed a two-year, $7.6 billion transportation and public safety budget bill that also permitted states to use toll revenue from the Ohio Turnpike for projects beyond its 241-mile toll road borders. The law allocated $4 billion to pay for road and bridge contracts, which was mostly funded through fuel tax revenues.

VERMONT: HOUSE BILL 510 (2013)

The Vermont legislature increased the fuel tax to support transportation investment throughout the state in 2013.  Vermont enacted a two-percent sales tax on gasoline as well as a 0.8 cent decrease in the per gallon tax, and a two-cents-per-gallon diesel tax increase —phased in over two years— that will generate $28 million per year to support road and bridge improvements.

OREGON: SENATE BILL 810 (2013)

This successful vehicles-miles-traveled (VMT) pilot program passed in the Oregon state legislature in 2013, and this road usage charge system will be the first in the nation.  Senate Bill 810 established a new program in which drivers are able to voluntarily participate in a mileage-based user fee system instead of paying the traditional fuel excise tax in Oregon.

PENNSYLVANIA: HOUSE BILL 1060 (2013)

PENNSYLVANIA:  HOUSE BILL 1060 (2013) This successful legislative campaign with the Pennsylvania state legislature produced a five-year, $2.3 billion transportation package.  The comprehensive transportation bill passed in November 2013, and it will provide an additional $2.3 to $2.4 billion for Pennsylvania highways, bridges, rail, airports, transit, and bike/pedestrian facilities.  The law eliminated the state retail gas tax paid at the pump and removed the cap on the Oil Company Franchise Tax, which was charged at the wholesale level.

MASSACHUSETTS: 2013

MASSACHUSETTS:  2013 This successful legislative campaign with the Massachusetts state legislature resulted in an increase of the gasoline tax in order to generate additional transportation funding.  In July of 2013, Massachusetts legislators overrode a veto from Governor Deval Patrick (D) to enact a three-cents–per-gallon gasoline tax increase as part of an $800 million transportation bill—Governor Patrick had pushed for an even more ambitious plan.  As a result of the bill’s passage, the gasoline tax increased by three-cents-per-gallon on July 31, 2013—from 21 cents-per-gallon to 24-cents-per-gallon.