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Successful Legislative Campaigns
The Alabama legislature March 12 approved legislation with overwhelming bipartisan support that will help generate more than $300 million per year in additional transportation infrastructure investment. House Bill 2 (HB 2), also cited as the Rebuild Alabama Act, levied an additional 10-cents-per-gallon excise tax on gasoline and diesel. The excise tax rate will be adjusted by the percentage change in the average National Highway Construction Cost Index. This bill also levied an additional annual license tax and registration fee of $200 for battery electric vehicles and $100 for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed the bill into law the same day.
This study analyses the campaign to increase Alabama’s transportation investment, examining who the major players were, why the state needed to increase revenue, and how organizations built a coalition and obtained bipartisan consensus. It explores several significant trends tracked by ARTBA-TIAC in recent years, including the importance of the governor acting as a champion of legislation, comprehensive research to support the need for increased funding, and more. Readers will walk away with best practices and strategies to utilize for their own state.
California lawmakers on April 6 approved a plan to boost transportation funding by $5.24 billion annually through a combination of motor fuel and vehicle registration increases. The bill, which narrowly passed along mostly party lines, is projected to raise $52.4 billion over the first 10 years, which will be used to fund road and bridge maintenance and improvements, as well as transit and trail infrastructure.
On Oct. 7, 2016, New Jersey lawmakers approved legislation to increase the state gas tax by 23 cents-per-gallon and the diesel tax by 27 cents-per-gallon (effective Nov. 1, 2016) in order to generate $2 billion annually in new revenue for transportation infrastructure. Combined with matching federal funds and bonds, the legislation is expected to enable $32 billion in transportation investment over the next eight years. As a compromise to balance the tax increase, the measures also include several tax cuts.
South Carolina lawmakers created short-term transportation funding legislation that utilizes over $200 million in existing fees to borrow approximately $2.2 billion to fund major interstate and bridge projects over the next decade. This 2016 bill also gives the Governor much more influence in the selection of members to the Commission of the Department of Transportation, which provides regulatory oversight to the use of transportation revenues included in this legislation.
In 2015, North Carolina state lawmakers prevented a dramatic motor fuel tax cut, eliminated Highway Fund transfers, raised Division of Motor Vehicle fees, increased the tax on out-of-state motor vehicle purchases, and permitted municipalities to increase their local vehicle sales tax. By doing so, the state raised a total of $1.2 billion in additional transportation revenue availability for Fiscal Year 2016-2017, including $440 million annually in new revenues.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) signed into law on August 2 legislation to permit $2.8 billion in transportation bonds. The bonds will be used to fund the first five years of Gov. Malloy’s “Let’s Go CT” program, a 30-year plan to upgrade the state’s highways and bridges, expand the rail system and bus service, and improve airports, ports, bike and pedestrian paths, and freight systems.
After a measure to increase transportation revenue failed to be approved by voters, Michigan lawmakers passed legislation in November 2015 to increase the state gasoline and diesel fuel taxes to 26.3 cents-per-gallon; tax alternative fuels at the state motor fuel tax rate; establish an alternative fuel dealer license and fee; increase registration fees by 20 percent; and create a new annual fee for electric-powered motor vehicles.
- Case Study- Michigan Transportation Funding Package (2015)
- Bill Text: HB 4738 (Alternative Fuels), HB 4736 (Vehicle Registration Fees), and HB 4615 (Increase motor fuel tax, index to CPI)
- Senate Fiscal Analysis of Michigan Transportation Funding Package
House Bill 140 was passed by the Delaware legislature on July 1 in order to increase state Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) fees in order to generate new revenue for transportation funding.
Senate Bill 5987 was signed into law on July 15, 2015 in order to increase the state gas tax by 11.9 cents-per-gallon and increase transportation-related fees, as well as permit Sound Transit residents to vote on a plan to fund expansion of the region’s lightrail system.
Senate Bill 1 was approved on March 30, 2015 in order to increase the state gas tax by 6 cents-per-gallon and raise various transportation-related fees.
- November 22: State Transportation Funding News Roundup November 22, 2019
- November 14: State Transportation Funding News Roundup November 14, 2019
- Watch Now: Free Webinar on 2019 Election Results and Federal Funding Update November 11, 2019