Transportation Funding Proposals
- Connecticut Rep. Jason Rojas (D-East Hartford) announced his plan on Jan. 23 to propose a 4 cents-per-gallon increase in the state gas tax to close the state’s transportation funding shortfall. The legislature’s 2018 regular session begins on Feb. 7.
- Utah’s Transportation Governance and Funding Task Force, appointed by the state legislature in 2017, revealed draft legislation on Jan. 25 that would increase fees on electric and hybrid vehicles and create a transient room (hotel) tax and local option sales tax to aid in transit development. The proposal would also authorize the Utah Department of Transportation to begin a study on a road usage charge pilot program.
Transportation Funding Legislation Introduced
- A bill has been introduced in Colorado to ask voters for approval to issue transportation revenue anticipation notes (TRANs) bonds of $3.5 billion, with a maximum repayment of $5 billion.
- Maine is joining at least three other states by proposing new fees on electric and hybrid vehicle, to ensure these vehicles are contributing revenue to address the wear and tear caused by motor vehicles on the state’s transportation infrastructure.
- An Oklahoma bill was pre-filed to create a $150 registration fee on electric motor vehicles and a $30 registration fee for hybrid motor vehicles. Legislation approved in 2017 to institute such fees was approved by the state legislature and governor, but struck down by the state Supreme Court over questions on the process by which it was approved.
Transportation Funding Legislation Advancing
- After a drafting error in 2017 legislation that cost the Idaho Department of Transportation $27.5 million in expected revenue, the state’s Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee voted unanimously on Jan. 18 to correct the error and transfer the sum plus interest to the agency. The bill must pass both houses and get governor approval to go into effect.
- An additional bill in Colorado to issue $3.5 billion in bonds for transportation projects passed the Senate Transportation Committee on Jan. 23 with a vote of 3-2 along party lines, with Republicans in favor of the issue. The legislation is now with the House Finance Committee.
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