TranspoAdvocate News

State & Local Funding News

TIAC staff tracks the latest state and local transportation funding news and provides regular updates on TranspoAdvocates News. To contribute to these efforts, contact Carolyn Kramer.


May 10: Transportation Funding News Roundup

May 10: Transportation Funding News Roundup


Missouri voters last year rejected a transportation funding measure despite the state’s $800 million annual shortfall for roads and bridges. Why? ARTBA’s “Transportation Investment Advocacy Center”™ (ARTBA-TIAC) in a new report explores how the $400 million annual funding measure introduced by the state legislature failed to win voter approval.


Michigan roads in poor condition now outnumber those in fair condition , according to the annual Roads and Bridges report. The May 3 survey shows that from 2005 to 2018 more roads deteriorated than were improved. Read More>>


A $1.837 billion Colorado bond issue has been moved to 2020 instead of this year’s ballot. State legislators worried that competition with another transportation investment measure could jeopardize both, as  occurred in the November 2018 general election. Read More>>


The Connecticut Special Transportation Fund could face a $11.5 million deficit by 2021 if consensus isn’t reached on new transportation revenue. The Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee May 6 opted not to endorse electronic tolling or motor vehicle fee increases, as recommended by Gov. Ned Lamont (D). Read More>>


The Pennsylvania Transportation Department (PennDOT) May 3 again redirected funding for a $300 million local road and bridge improvement program. This comes amid other project cancelations, which now won’t be pursued until more revenue is available. Read More>>


Iowa roads climbed from a C- in 2015 to a C+ rating, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) 2019 Report Card. Some of the improvement is due to a 2015 10-cents-per-gallon fuel tax increase, which secured more revenue for short-term needs.  ASCE’s May 2 report card still anticipates a $32.5 billion roadway funding shortfall over the next 20 years. Read More>>


An Illinois transportation funding amendment filed May 6 would grow transportation investment by $2.4 billion through increasing the state gas tax by 25 cents per gallon, indexing fuel taxes to inflation, and raising license and registration fees. Bill sponsor Sen. Martin Sandoval (D- Chicago) the next day announced the proposal with Sen. Don DeWitte (R- St. Charles), who says he supports the gas tax increase but has not yet signed on as a sponsor. DeWitte favors a provision that would include removing the state general sales tax currently levied on motor fuel purchases at the pump, revenue that is not dedicated to transportation funding. Read More>>


Analysis of Missouri Proposition D (2018) Now Available

Analysis of Missouri Proposition D (2018) Now Available

Missouri voters last year rejected a transportation funding measure despite the state’s $800 million annual shortfall for roads and bridges. Why? ARTBA’s “Transportation Investment Advocacy Center”™ (ARTBA-TIAC) in a new report explores how the $400 million annual funding measure introduced by the state legislature failed to win voter approval.

The report also reviews Missouri’s transportation funding history, factors that contributed to the shortfall, key players in the campaign, and prospects for future transportation investment efforts.

Read the case study on Missouri’s Proposition D (2018).

Learn more about this and other campaigns at the 6th Annual “National Workshop for State & Local Transportation Advocates” on July 17 in Washington, D.C.  Len Toenjes, president of the Associated General Contractors of Missouri, will share his insights during the session “Battleground States: How National Politics Can Impact the Local Vote.” View the full agenda and register.

The TIAC staff researches and prepares detailed case studies of recent successful—and unsuccessful—state and local legislative and ballot initiative campaigns aimed at increasing transportation infrastructure investment. These studies dig into the politics, issues, media, and key players. Visit the ‘Campaign Case Studies’ tab on the TIAC website


Four More States Increase Transportation Investment in April 2019

Four More States Increase Transportation Investment in April 2019

Nine states approved an estimated $1.6 billion in one-time and recurring revenue for roads and bridges during the first four months of 2019, including four in April, according to analysis by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s Transportation Investment Advocacy Center™ (ARTBA-TIAC). Transportation investment measures in Iowa and Florida are pending the governor’s signature.

The April investment measures include:

  • Virginia: Local fuel tax of 2.1 percent on the average wholesale price of fuel, implemented in districts bordering I-81 for interstate construction and maintenance. The law also includes a statewide diesel tax increase and higher truck registration fees.
  • North Dakota: Implement a new annual registration fee of $120 for electric and $50 for plug-in hybrid vehicles.
  • Idaho: Amends existing law to phase out the distribution of funds from the highway distribution account to the law enforcement account and reallocates those funds to local governments and the state highway account for transportation. Another law permits selling bonds against this revenue.
  • New York: Established tolls for vehicles entering or remaining in the most congested areas of the state. Revenue would be used for public transit improvements.

Wyoming, Alabama, Arkansas, Ohio, and Utah approved transportation investment laws before April.

Several funding trends continue from previous years, including legislation to increase electric vehicle fees. Including North Dakota, above, 24 states now have a registration fee for electric vehicles. Iowa would become the 25th state if Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signs House File 767. Before 2019, 20 states had an electric vehicle fee.

The market impact of these measures is difficult to project as revenue approved ranges from immediate one-time investment to annual contributions. While these state measures are helpful, they fall short of transportation investment needs, which continue to rely on federal investment.

See ARTBA-TIAC’s full roundup of 2019 transportation funding legislation, including details of 250 bills in 46 states.

Learn more about 2019 transportation investment measures, funding trends, and campaign advice at the 6th Annual “National Workshop for State & Local Transportation Advocates” on July 17 in Washington, D.C.

Keys to Continued Transportation Investment Success Available for On-Demand Learning

Keys to Continued Transportation Investment Success Available for On-Demand Learning

Data and transparency are two of the critical tools to gain and retain support for ongoing transportation investment explored in a recent ARTBA-TIAC webinar.

A recording of “Campaign Strategies & Successes: Maintaining Energy Towards Ongoing Transportation Funding Wins” is available for free in ARTBA’s On-Demand Learning service.

You’ll hear:

  • Kris Peterson, director of project development with the Utah Department of Transportation, share how the state maintained positive attitudes towards transportation and passed multiple bills to address long-term transportation investment.
  • Lance Binoniemi, vice president of government affairs with the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association, discuss the state’s growing investment needs and how the issue become a crucial component of the new governor’s platform.
  • Seth Millican, executive director of the Georgia Transportation Alliance, review the five major components of successful 2015 legislation, how advocates returned to improve it in 2018, and how to achieve wins with local ballot measures.

Establishing relationships with legislators, officials, and the public are key steps all three speakers address in the 60-minute recording.

April. 26. State Transportation Funding News Roundup

April. 26. State Transportation Funding News Roundup


Don’t Miss Our Free April 29 Webinar on State Campaign Success Strategies. Three advocates will share their experiences managing multi-year campaigns, harnessing public and legislative will to revisit the issue, and passing multiple bills to address their states’ shortfalls. Attendees will learn how to reach out to lawmakers and governors, maintaining momentum with coalitions and the public, successful strategies, and best practices. Register Here>>


The U.S. Department of Transportation April 23 opened applications for discretionary grant funding through its Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development, or BUILD, grants. See more in our ARTBA Newsline story on the $900 million in funding available. Read More>>


The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, a tech-policy group, on April 25 advised the federal government to replace the federal gas tax with a GPS-based national road user charge system for cars and commercial trucks. Read More>>


Localities in Ohio are planning to receive additional revenue for transportation infrastructure projects due to a 10.5-cents and 19-cents-per-gallon fuel tax increase for gasoline and diesel, respectively, set to commence July 1, 2019. Read More>>


A Louisiana House bill that could gradually increase the state gasoline tax by 24 cents-per-gallon over 12 years could fund nearly $1 billion of highway and bridge projects if approved. State Representative Steve Carter (R – Baton Rouge) April 23 removed a controversial provision that would have redirected sales tax revenue to satisfy legislators reticent to vote for tax increases. Read More>>


The Minnesota Department of Transportation April 22 estimated the state needs an extra $18 billion over two decades, in addition to current revenue, to maintain road and bridge conditions. Debate continues over a 20 cents-per-gallon gas tax increase proposed by Gov. Tim Walz (DFL).  Read More>>


More than $4 billion of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s revenue has been diverted to other areas of government over the past six years, according to results of a recent audit released April 25. Under the state constitution, proceeds from the Motor License Fund are only to be used for the safety, construction, and repair of roads and bridges, however proposals to remedy this issue are meeting resistance from legislators. Read More>>


Michigan Senate Republicans April 23 announced their intention to divert $600 million in state income tax revenue to road repairs in 2020, a year in advance from what was originally approved in the 2015 transportation investment legislation. Read More>>