- Indiana House and Senate leaders reported on April 19 that they had reached a deal to provide long-term transportation funding, including a 10 cents-per-gallon motor fuel tax increase (indexed to inflation for the next seven years, with a cap of 1 cent increase per year), a new vehicle registration fee, a $50 hybrid vehicle registration fee and $150 electric vehicle registration fee, and a gradual shift of the sales tax on gasoline purchases from the General Fund to the transportation fund. Both chambers will likely vote on the bill April 21.
- Oregon state Sen. Lee Beyer (D- District 6) and Rep. Cliff Bentz (R- District 60), members of the legislature’s joint committee on transportation preservation and modernization, anticipate the committee will introduce a transportation funding proposal in May.
Progress on Pending Bills
- The Tennessee House and Senate both voted on April 19 to approve the IMPROVE Act, which will increase the state gas, diesel, and alternative fuels tax, as well as vehicle registration fees. The bill will also create a new $100 annual fee for electric vehicles and permit local privilege taxes. The House passed the bill earlier in the day and sent it to the Senate, where it was amended to increase property tax relief for disabled veterans and sent back to the House for final approval. The IMPROVE Act is up for vote again in the House on April 24.
- South Carolina Senate lawmakers spent nearly seven hours on April 19 debating a bill to increase the state gas tax. They narrowly rejected amendments to the bill that would have included income tax reform and designating the state department of transportation a Cabinet position. The House had previously approved the legislation on March 1. The Senate did not hold a final vote on the bill this week, but Senate President Pro Tempore Hugh Leatherman (R- District 31) told lawmakers that they should be prepared to vote next week. Nine days remain in South Carolina’s legislative session.
- The Minnesota House and Senate entered a conference committee on April 19 to find a compromise between two proposals that would redirect taxes and fees on auto repairs, auto rentals, the Motor Vehicle Lease Sales Tax, and some taxes on auto parts, as well as dedicate a portion of the state surplus, to fund transportation priorities.
- Colorado bills to increase transportation funding have stalled in committees, lacking enough of the committee members’ support to advance to their chambers’ floors.
- An Alabama bill to increase the state gas tax was pulled from the House floor before a scheduled vote on April 13 after House Speaker Mac McCutcheon (R- District 25) found that the bill did not have enough votes to pass.
- The Missouri House voted 51-103 to reject an amendment to House Bill (HB) 694 that would have asked voters to increase the state gas tax by 5.9 cents-per-gallon. HB 694, which would permit the state to tax propane-fueled vehicles, passed in its original form with a vote of 121-26 on April 18 and was sent to the Senate.