TranspoAdvocate NewsState & 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.
Since the start of 2018, ARTBA’s Transportation Investment Advocacy Center™ has tracked over 200 transportation funding bills considered in 40 states. Nineteen states have approved 27 measures related to, or increasing funding.
Legislation to increase or adjust the state motor fuel tax was introduced 26 times in 12 states. One state— Oklahoma— approved a gas tax increase. Another state— Missouri— is asking voters to approve a 10 cents-per-gallon gas tax increase on the November 2018 ballot. Additionally, Georgia approved extending the portion of its variable-rate formula indexed to the Consumer Price Index until 2022 (previously set to expire on July 1, 2018).
One-time funding (47) and non-fuel tax recurring revenue (37) were the most popular types of legislation introduced during the 2018 session. Nine one-time funding bills were approved in Georgia, Colorado, Mississippi, Michigan, North Carolina, Connecticut, and Minnesota, with an additional bill pending voter approval in Maine. Seven non-fuel tax recurring revenue bills were approved in Utah, Connecticut, Oregon, Kansas and Mississippi.
Fees on electric vehicles continued to be a topic of interest in 2018. Fourteen bills were introduced in 12 states, with legislation in Mississippi and Utah approved. Both states included a fee for hybrid vehicles as well.
Of the legislation proposed in the 2018 legislative session, 159 bills never advanced beyond the first chamber floor.
All but eight states have adjourned for the year, with two states – Florida and Kentucky – already beginning prefile for the 2019 legislative session. Only two states— New Jersey and Virginia— will carry over legislation from 2018 to 2019. Statewide ballot measures are pending in Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, Colorado, Connecticut, and California.
Thousands of voters will consider questions on creating or maintaining state and local transportation funding when they cast their ballots on Nov. 6. Join ARTBA’s “Transportation Investment Advocacy Center” on Thursday, Nov. 8, for an in-depth webinar that will explore those ballot measures and their results, the impact and historical trends, and more. Experts will also share insight into congressional races, federal funding, and the reelection of lawmakers who voted on a gas tax increase. Additionally, a state advocate will provide a deep dive into California’s Proposition 6, a measure to repeal the 2017 state gas tax increase, including the campaign and its results.
The free webinar begins at 3 p.m., Eastern, but requires advance registration. Space is limited.
The session will feature:
Dave Bauer, executive vice president of advocacy, ARTBA. Bauer will discuss the results of the 2018 general election congressional races, and what they mean for the transportation construction industry. Bauer will also share his insight on transportation funding developments on Capitol Hill.
Carolyn Kramer, director, ARTBA-TIAC. Kramer will discuss the outcome of state, county and local transportation funding ballot measure results. She will also explore results from previous years and transportation funding trends. Additionally, Kramer will provide insight into the latest research that explores the reelection rates of over a thousand state lawmakers that have both supported and opposed gas tax increases in 12 states.
Orville Thomas, director of government affairs, California Alliance for Jobs. After the 2017 passage of a state transportation funding increase worth an estimated $5.4 billion annually, anti-tax proponents swiftly launched a campaign that asked voters to repeal the legislation on the November 2018 ballot. Thomas will provide an overview of the comprehensive campaign to preserve the transportation funding increase, results of the measure, and the state’s transportation construction outlook.
The Transportation Investment Advocacy Center™ is an internet-based educational platform that features detailed reports, analyses and case studies of recent transportation funding campaigns—both successful and unsuccessful—mounted in numerous states. It includes television, radio and print ads, polling, an overview of state and local funding and finance mechanisms, and an ongoing blog detailing new developments across the nation.
The Center’s program of work is also guided by the Transportation Investment Advocates Council™, a national network of business professionals and public officials who share a common interest in building support for transportation infrastructure investments in their state or local community.
Please contact Carolyn Kramer at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Large trucks on the Indiana Toll Road will see 35-percent fee increases starting Oct. 5 as part of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s (R) plan to increase state transportation funding by an additional $1 billion. The increase, which amended an existing contract and did not require legislative approval, was approved by the Indiana Finance Authority on Sept. 20. Of the new revenue, $790 million would be used for highway improvements, and the remaining funds would go towards airports, broadband access, and hiking, biking and riding trails. Gov. Holcomb stated that this increase will bring the state in line with what neighboring states charge large trucks for toll road usage. Read More>>
West Virginia’s 2017 measure to increase funding by $2.8 billion has enabled hundreds of transportation construction projects to proceed, though setbacks have occurred with two projects that received bids well over original estimates. Read More>>
Fifty percent of Wisconsin’s roads are in poor or mediocre condition, and deteriorating, congested or unsafe roads and bridges are costing drivers $6.8 billion statewide annually, according to a Sept. 18 report released by TRIP. Read More>>
Over 300 bridges in Connecticut are structurally deficient, according to a Sept. 20 report from TRIP. Read More>>
Arkansas state Sen. Breanne Davis (R-Russellville) requested on Sept. 20 that incoming Senate President Jim Hendren (R- Gravette) assist stakeholders and lawmakers with creating a transportation funding proposal ready for introduction when the legislature convenes in January. Read More>>
Kentucky House Transportation Committee Chair Sal Santoro (R- District 60) in an interview with the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Sept 12, stressed the need for the state to reform its variable-rate state gas tax formula in order to increase revenue, as well as create a fee for electric and hybrid vehicles. Read More>>
Key leaders from both political parties have expressed support for Missouri’s Proposition D, a measure on the November ballot that could increase the state gas tax by 10 cents-per-gallon. If approved by voters, over $400 million will be generated annually for the state’s transportation infrastructure, about half of what the state needs to close its transportation funding shortfall. Read More>>
Illinois legislative leaders on Aug. 10 were taken on a tour of downstate roads and bridges to illustrate the need for increased transportation funding. Another tour highlighting the state’s urban roads is planned by the Transportation for Illinois Coalition on Sept. 17. Read More>>
After their lawsuit to stop Missouri’s gas tax increase question from going on the Nov. 6 ballot was rejected by two state courts, conservative activist Ron Calzone and State Representative Mike Moon (R-Ash Grove) are petitioning the Missouri Supreme Court to hear their case. Both argue that the measure is unconstitutional because it touches on multiple issues and was rushed through the legislative process. They face a deadline of Sept. 28, after which a court decision cannot affect the appearance of the measure on the ballot. Read More>>
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) signed legislation into law on Aug. 29 to increase transportation funding by $200 million annually. The package will provide revenue through a variety of measures, including a portion of a settlement with BP over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill off the coast of Mississippi; a newly-created state lottery; $300 million in bonds; a $150 annual electric vehicle registration fee and $75 hybrid vehicle registration fee; 35 percent of sales tax revenue from online purchases; and taxes on newly-legalized sports betting in casinos. The legislation also requires counties to provide a match for the state use tax money. Read More>>
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb proposed a plan on Sept. 4 that would provide $1 billion in new transportation funding by increasing toll rates by 35 percent for heavy vehicles. Of that revenue, $790 million would be used for highway improvements, and the remaining funds would go towards airports, broadband access, and hiking, biking and riding trails. The plan, which would amend an existing contract with the Indiana Toll Road Concession Company, would not require legislative approval. Read More>>
Louisiana Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson warned in a radio interview Sept. 3 that the state is in jeopardy of losing federal transportation funds because it does not have the revenue to meet its match requirement. Read More>>
The South Carolina Department of Transportation will begin a pilot program later this year that will transfer certain state roads to local governments that volunteer to participate. For each transfer the state will provide enough revenue to maintain the road for 40 years, after which the locality assumes all costs associated with the road. While this will enable local governments to manage repaving and improvements, some voiced concerns about the long-term funding needed to maintain the infrastructure. About two dozen municipalities indicated intent to apply for the program. South Carolina approved a state gas tax increase in 2017, but the revenue falls short of what the state needs to restore the whole road system to good condition. Read More>>