with Tyler Kane, Transportation Investment Advocacy Center
The Alaska legislature on May 23 began a special session to pass a FY 2017 budget and prevent a government shutdown. One of the contested measures within the budget concerns the state’s gas tax, which remains the lowest in the country at 8 cents per gallon. Read more
Following failure to pass legislation that would have raised the state gas tax by 6 cents per gallon, Missouri lawmakers were presented with a petition to increase state cigarette taxes by 23 cents per pack to help fund transportation improvements. Raising Missouri’s cigarette tax, which is currently the nation’s lowest at 17 cents per pack, could generate over $95 million annually. The signatures are currently being verified by the Secretary of State’s office, and, if found valid, a measure could appear before Missouri voters on November’s ballot. Read more
The California Transportation Commission cut $754 million from funding for various highway and transit projects on May 18. The Commission made the cuts due to declining revenues from California’s gas tax, which is scheduled to drop another 2.2 cents per gallon in July. Read more
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) told Minnesota Public Radio on May 24 that he believes the legislature would be unlikely to pass transportation funding legislation even if he called a special session. “I think it’s unrealistic to think they’re going to agree on something before or during a very short one-day special session, if there were one.” Read More.
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