Oregon’s 2015 Legislative Campaign to Increase Transportation Funding

With bipartisan collaboration and the support of the governor, a solution for Oregon’s transportation funding shortfall seemed likely at the beginning of the 2015 legislative session. However, by the summer bipartisan discussions had disintegrated and, failing to reach a consensus, the proposed state motor fuel tax increase died when the legislature adjourned on July 6, 2015. Facing a short 2016 legislative session, Gov. Kate Brown (D) and lawmakers acknowledged that a transportation funding increase would not be possible until the 2017 legislative session.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: HOUSE BILL 617 (2013)

This unsuccessful campaign with the New Hampshire state legislature failed to pass a transportation bill that would have increased the gasoline tax by 12-cents-per-gallon.  House Bill 617 proposed a half-billion dollar tax increase on gasoline over the course of a three year period. It would have created 800 jobs and raised the gasoline tax by 12-cents-per-gallon in order to generate funds to support transportation plans—including both highway and bridge construction projects.

NEVADA: SENATE BILL 377 (2013)

This unsuccessful campaign in the Nevada state legislature failed to increase the state gasoline tax to fund transportation improvements throughout the state.  Nevada’s proposed legislation included an annual two-cents-per-gallon gasoline tax increase to fund state highway and bridge improvements.  This flat gasoline tax would have generated $300 million during the first year, and over the next ten years, it would have brought in roughly $3 billion in new revenues. Possible factors for the bill’s inability to move forward include the governor’s opposition to any new taxes, the lack of external coalitions in support of the proposal, and a lack of support from the state leadership.  For example, the governor made a vow to oppose any new tax proposals, which was a shared sentiment of some Republicans in the Nevada legislature.

MISSOURI: HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION 23 (2013)

This unsuccessful legislative campaign in the Missouri state legislature failed to pass sales and use tax legislation to fund transportation.  This constitutional amendment proposed a temporary one percent increase in the state sales and use tax over a ten-year period, and it was estimated to raise approximately $8 billion over a ten-year period.  Although this bill initially passed in both the Missouri House and the Missouri Senate, the measure was filibustered by a group of Senators on the last day of the legislative session.  If the constitutional amendment would have passed, then it would have been placed on the November ballot for voters to ratify.

MISSISSIPPI: House Bill 265 (2013)

This unsuccessful legislative campaign with the Mississippi state legislature failed to pass House Bill 265 (HB 265)—a proposal to increase the tax associated with the wholesale price of gasoline.  HB 265 would have added a 6 percent tax to the wholesale price of gasoline, which would then have been adjusted and recalculated every six months.

MINNESOTA: SENATE BILL 891 (2013)

This unsuccessful campaign with the Minnesota state legislature failed to raise the gasoline tax by 9.5-cents-per-gallon over a 4-year period.  If successful, the gasoline tax increase would have raised $150 million for transportation.

IOWA: AMENDMENT H-1456/H-1457 to HOUSE FILE 640 (2013)

The Iowa state legislature’s unsuccessful campaign failed to advance a transportation funding amendment, which was ultimately withdrawn from consideration in 2013.  The motor fuel tax increase was added as an amendment to House File 640, which initially dealt with continuing to fund tax breaks for ethanol blended fuels. The amendment proposed increasing the gasoline tax by ten cents-per-gallon over a three-year period.  During the first two years, the bill proposed a three-cents-per-gallon increase each year, and the following year would have included a four-cents-per-gallon increase. This tax increase would have generated $215 million per year, and the new revenues would have been designated for road and bridge improvement projects. Although the House File bill was signed into law by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad (R) on June 17, 2013, the amendment regarding the motor fuel tax increase never received a vote because it was withdrawn on May 22, 2013.

IDAHO: HOUSE BILL 340 (2013)

This legislative campaign with the Idaho state legislature was ultimately unsuccessful and did not advance legislation to increase the state motor fuel tax.  House Bill 340 proposed raising the motor fuel tax by two-cents-per-gallon annually for a five-year period and increasing the diesel fuel tax rate annually by three-cents-per-gallon.  HB 340 would have generated $102.4 million annually.

CONNECTICUT: SENATE BILL 699 (2013)

This unsuccessful campaign with the Connecticut state legislature failed to advance legislation that aimed to address congestion pricing.  On January 25, 2013, Senate Bill 699 was introduced and assigned to the Joint Committee on Transportation.  There was a public hearing scheduled for February 25, 2013, but by March 27, 2013, Senate Bill 699 failed the “Joint Favorable Deadline” that had been previously established.

LEON COUNTY, FLORIDA: Local Gasoline Tax Increase (2013)

This victorious local government campaign to increase the gasoline tax in Leon County, Florida was implemented in September 2013.  The Leon County Commission passed this five-cents-per-gallon gasoline tax increase in 2013, where only two members of the Leon County Commission voted against the tax increase.   This new tax was implemented in January 2014 and will generate $4 million during the first year.  Half of the new transportation revenue will fund infrastructure and transportation—which has been designated for the city of Tallahassee—while the other half of the funds will be dedicated to Leon County.