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.
Transportation Funding: Best Practices & Lessons Learned from the States [July 17 ARTBA-TIAC Workshop]
During the first two months of 2019, legislators in 37 states introduced 185 bills to boost transportation investment, more than the same period last year. On March 12, the governors of Alabama and Arkansas each signed state gas tax increases to fund transportation projects. Other funding measures are headed to state and local ballots later this year. Learn more about what’s working, what’s not, and what’s ahead at the 6th Annual “National Workshop for State & Local Transportation Advocates,” a signature program of ARTBA’s Transportation Investment Advocacy Center™ (TIAC).
This year’s Workshop will include:
- An overview of state transportation funding trends and initiatives, plus a preview of what’s to come on 2019 state and local ballots;
- An update on federal transportation funding and efforts to permanently fix the revenue stream for the Highway Trust Fund;
- In-depth exploration of how states are adapting for vehicle fuel efficiency;
- The benefits and challenges of tolling;
- Campaign strategies from battleground states, and on passing legislative and ballot measures;
- Advice from state lawmakers on succeeding in your transportation funding campaign;
- And more!
The annual in-person meeting of the Transportation Investment Advocates Council will be held the afternoon of Tuesday, July 16. This meeting is for members of the Council, or for those interested in learning more about state transportation funding resources.
The Workshop is being held in conjunction with ARTBA’s 31st annual “Public-Private Partnerships in Transportation Conference.”
Colorado faces a $9 billion transportation project backlog due to competing legislative priorities and conflicting budget forecasts. Lawmakers provided a $2.5 billion boost for transportation over the past two sessions. Now, the best funding prospect is to hope predictions of excess revenue prevail over gloomier outlooks. Read More>>
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced that the Department of Highways this spring will commence a statewide paving and resurfacing program. This effort is bolstered by allocating “pay-as-you-go” revenue toward maintenance projects, including repair of the state’s secondary road systems. Read More>>
The Connecticut Airport Authority plans to start constructing a $210 million ground transportation center at Bradley International Airport late this summer. The construction is financed by revenue bonds, which will be repaid with customer facility charges once the center is completed in 2022. Read More>>
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced the winners of the District 6 Innovations Challenge, which asked students to propose new solutions to work zone safety concerns. The program aims to kindle students’ creativity and strategic-thinking and spark their interest in PennDOT careers. Read More>>
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) proposed a $600 million two-year transportation investment plan funded by an 8 cents-per-gallon gas tax increase and hiking heavy truck title fees. Evers also plans to repeal a “hidden” 14 cents- per-gallon gas tax which would lower the total price of gas. Read More>>
The Michigan Department of Transportation has launched the Michigan Bridge Conditions dashboard, a database that provides motorists with safety information on more than 11,000 bridges across the state. Read More>>
The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) is facing a $135 million shortfall to maintain current road conditions, $72 million of which consists of maintenance projects, according to a March 8 report. Read More>>
Pennsylvania could lose $18.5 billion in transportation revenue over the next 12 years due to federal and state risks, according to a March 12 state Department of Transportation (PennDOT) report. PennDOT’s highway, bridge, and public transit needs are already underfunded by approximately $3.7 billion annually. Read More>>
Michigan needs more transportation funding despite investment from the state’s 2015 road funding package, according to a March 13 TRIP report. The report shows that almost half of Michigan’s major roads are in poor or mediocre condition, more than one in 10 bridges are structurally deficient, and that current funding cannot fully address the significant deterioration of the system or volume it carries. Read More>>
Legislators in Massachusetts are debating indexing the state’s gas tax to the Consumer Price Index, according to a Chamber of Commerce event. Indexing the tax is projected to be a tough sell to other legislators and to voters, who repealed indexing in 2014. Read More>>
As a continuation of a three-year project the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) said March 12 it is gaging public opinion on road usage charge systems as an alternative to the state fuel tax, which is becoming less effective as cars become more efficient. Read More>>
The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) does not have the revenue to cover a $335 million transportation construction project – just one of dozens across the state – if Gov. Mike DeWine’s (R) proposal to raise the gas tax by 18 cents a gallon is not passed, a department spokesman said March 13. The increase would enable ODOT to get caught up on construction and maintenance, while a smaller tax hike would mean projects would take longer to complete and cost more. Read More>>
Make sure to catch these updates as well!
- March 12: Arkansas Governor Approves Gas Tax Hike, Other Measures for Road Funds
- March 12: Alabama Lawmakers Approve Transportation Investment Measure
- Introducing ARTBA’s “Transportation Investment Advocacy Center” New Logo
- ARTBA-TIAC has an updated resource on “State Electric Vehicle Fees” available! The handout provides information on the 22 states that have implemented a registration fee for electric vehicles. Download the report.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) on March 12 signed into law legislation to raise the state gas tax by 3 cents-per-gallon and diesel tax by 6 cents-per-gallon (effective Oct. 1) and add an additional levy based on the average wholesale price of fuel. Senate Bill 336 also implements an annual registration fee of $200 for electric motor vehicles and $100 for hybrid motor vehicles, and transfers $35 million annually from casino revenues to the state’s transportation fund. The measure is projected to raise an additional $95 million annually for the state department of transportation and $13 million annually for cities and counties to use on local transportation projects.
The new variable-rate formula implements a tax of 1.6 percent of the average wholesale price of gas and 2.9 percent of the average wholesale price of diesel. The tax will be adjusted annually based on the calculation of the previous year, limits the increase to no more than 0.1 cent-per-gallon per year, and prevents the tax from dropping if the 12-month average wholesale price of fuel is less than the previous year.
Gov. Hutchinson praised the transportation plan for being passed “with the broadest bipartisan support that can be imagined in funding a highway program.”
In addition, Arkansas lawmakers voted on March 7 to place a half-cent sales tax increase renewal on the 2020 ballot. House Joint Resolution 1018, originally approved in 2012, is projected to raise approximately $205 million annually for state highways and $44 million annually for localities.
Also on March 12, nearby state Alabama approved a 10 cents-per-gallon gas tax increase. Including both states, 29 states have increased or adjusted their state motor fuel taxes to support needed transportation investment since 2013. Arkansas last raised its gas tax in 1999.
The Alabama state Senate March 12 approved legislation that will help generate more than $300 million per year in additional transportation infrastructure investment. Senators agreed 28-6 to increase Alabama’s fuel tax by 10 cents-per-gallon, phased in over three years and indexed to the National Highway Construction Cost, and new annual registration fees of $200 for electric motor vehicles and $100 for hybrid motor vehicles. Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed the bill into law the same day.
Increasing revenue for roads and bridges is a key initiative of Gov. Ivey’s “Rebuild Alabama Infrastructure Plan.” She convened a special legislative session for the sole purpose of finding a transportation funding solution.
House Bill 2 (HB 2) was widely acclaimed for achieving overwhelming, 83-20 bipartisan support in the House. Only 18 of 77 House Republicans, and two of 28 Democrats in the chamber, voted against it. House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) declared that consensus on transportation investment is only the start of “an extremely exciting four years of bipartisanship.”
Alabama is now the 28th state that has increased or adjusted its state motor fuel tax to support needed transportation investments since 2013. Several other states are currently advancing their own legislation to increase motor fuel taxes for transportation investment.