Three states took action to increase transportation investment during the first three months of 2019, generating $409 million in new annual revenue for projects. A fourth state, Ohio, appears on the verge approving another $865 million in additional annual revenue for roads and bridges.
In the first quarter, 43 states introduced 231 transportation funding bills. Four measures in three states were signed:
- Alabama: 10 cents-per-gallon fuel tax increase, indexed to the National Highway Construction Cost, and new annual registration fees of $200 for electric motor vehicles and $100 for hybrid motor vehicles.
- Arkansas: 3 cents-per-gallon gas tax increase, 6 cents-per-gallon diesel tax increase, and additional levy based on the average wholesale price of fuel. Annual registration fee of $200 for electric motor vehicles, $100 for hybrid motor vehicles, and transfers $35 million annually from casino revenues to the state’s transportation fund.
- Arkansas: Placed a half-cent sales tax increase renewal on the 2020 ballot.
- Utah: Permit owners of alternative fuel vehicles to enroll in a road usage charge program.
A bill passed by the Ohio legislature would increase the state gas tax by 10.5 cents-per-gallon and the diesel tax by 19 cents-per-gallon, and implement annual registration fees of $200 for electric motor vehicles and $100 for plug-in hybrid motor vehicles. It is pending the governor’s signature.
While these state measures are helpful, they fall short of transportation investment needs, which continue to rely on federal investment. The Transportation Investment Advocacy Center™ has a full roundup of first quarter state legislation.