Two states are making progress on bills to increase their state gas taxes.
Georgia’s House Transportation Committee on March 2 approved a bill which would replace the state’s existing 4 percent sales tax on motor fuel with a 21.7 cents-per-gallon state gas tax increase, and index the newly increased flat excise tax to both the Corporate Average Fuel Economy and the Consumer Price Index. Other aspects of the plan include recapitalizing the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank to provide loans and grants to local governments for the purpose of transportation construction projects; a large bond package which would include bridges and transit; and a $200 annual fee for non-commercial alternative fuel vehicles which do not use any motor fuel ($300 for commercial alternative fuel vehicles), dedicated to transit systems. The committee amended the proposed package to permit local governments to continue using Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) on motor fuel to generate revenue for local transportation projects.
If approved, Georgia’s House Bill 170 would generate an estimated $700 million in 2016 and $1.04 billion per year by 2020. The bill now moves to the House floor for consideration.
Meanwhile, a bipartisan transportation package was passed by the Washington Senate and now progresses to the House for review. The proposal, announced Feb. 12, would gradually increase the state gas tax by 11.7 cents-per-gallon as well as redirect sales tax paid on transportation projects (currently being deposited into the General Fund) back into transportation funding. Additionally, the Senate package includes several administrative and technical reforms. The proposed package of 11 bills— eight reform bills, one bond bill, one gas tax bill, and one spending bill— would raise an estimated $15.1 billion over 16 years. Ten of these bills have passed the Senate, with the $4.285 billion bond bill pending action.
Transportation Investment Advocacy Center staff is currently tracking 26 states and over 90 bills pending legislative action, with more anticipated as the year progresses. The State Transportation Funding Initiatives Report is updated on a monthly basis to reflect the most comprehensive information. To view the most current report, visit: http://www.transportationinvestment.org/category/state-funding-initiatives-report/