South Dakota lawmakers on the state’s Highway Needs and Financing Committee approved a transportation funding proposal November 7 that would raise more than $100 million in new revenue during the first year. Money would come from a variety of funding mechanisms, including: an increase in a vehicle excise tax estimated (approximately $25.4 billion); a fuel tax ($50 million); and a hike in vehicle registration fees ($8.7 million).
State Senator Mike Vehle (R-D-20), chairman of the committee, said the plan provides only a small amount of the funds needed to maintain South Dakota’s roads and bridges. By 2024, a quarter of South Dakota’s roads are predicted to be in “poor” condition. According to published reports, counties will need more than $80 million in new revenue for 2015 in order to provide necessary transportation infrastructure repairs, and state highways will require an additional $140 million in funding. An estimated $240 million is needed for essential bridges replacements.
Now approved by the joint House-Senate committee, the plan now moves to the full legislature for consideration.