North Carolina

A bill to lower the amount of a scheduled state gas tax decrease passed the North Carolina House with amendments March 5 with a vote of 72-42. The state gas tax reduction, scheduled due to the terms of the state’s variable-rate gas tax component which ties the tax to the price of wholesale gasoline, would have likely dropped the amount collected by the tax to below 30 cents-per-gallon. Senate Bill 20 as passed by the House would decrease the tax by only 1.5 cents-per-gallon and remain at 36 cents-per-gallon amount for the remainder of the year.

SB 20 passed the Senate Feb. 12 with a vote of 35-15. The version passed by the Senate included a 2.5 cents-per-gallon decrease, and a new permanent floor to prevent the tax from ever collecting less than 35 cents-per-gallon or 9.9 percent of the average price of fuel, whichever is greater.

SB 20 now goes back to the Senate for legislators to review the House amendments.

Texas

Meanwhile, the Texas Senate March 4 voted 28-2 to approve legislation, which would dedicate a portion of the state’s motor vehicle sales tax revenue to the transportation fund. Under Sen. Robert Nichols’ (R-Jacksonville) plan, the first $2.5 billion generated from this tax would continue to be deposited into the General Fund. The next $2.5 billion would go towards funding roads. Any amount generated by the motor vehicle sales tax over $5 billion would be split between the transportation fund, school fund and general fund. The plan now goes to the House for review, and, if passed by the legislature, would be put before voters for approval.

Georgia: Update on House Bill 170

Georgia’s House Bill 170 was approved by the House March 5 with a vote of 123-46. The bill would replace the state’s existing four percent sales tax on gasoline with a 21.7 cents-per-gallon state gas tax increase, and index the newly increased flat excise tax to both the Corporate Average Fuel Economy and the Consumer Price Index. The bill would also provide a large bond package for transportation, increase vehicle registration fees, and create an infrastructure bank. HB 170 will now move on to the Senate for consideration.

Transportation Investment Advocacy Center staff is currently tracking 26 states and over 90 bills pending legislative action, with more anticipated as the year progresses. The State Transportation Funding Initiatives Report is updated on a monthly basis to reflect the most comprehensive information. View the most current report.