By Carolyn Kramer, manager, Transportation Investment Advocacy Center
More than 30 states, or well over half of the country, are considering or have approved new transportation funding legislation so far this year, according to the Transportation Investment Advocacy Center’s fourth 2015 report on state legislation.
TIAC staff have tracked over 100 bills in 32 states throughout 2015. Twelve bills have been approved so far, totaling approximately $1.482 billion for transportation funding. Four of those bills– in Idaho, Iowa, South Dakota, and Utah—increased or changed the formula for the state gas tax, with an additional bill in Georgia pending approval from Governor Nathan Deal (R). Kentucky and North Carolina both altered the variable-rate component of their state gas tax in order to avoid losing transportation revenue due to the low wholesale price of gasoline. Mississippi, Minnesota and North Dakota all passed one-time transportation fund infusions. Additionally, Wyoming passed a bill to tax alternative fuels.
Almost 100 bills are still pending legislative action.
Nine states—Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, South Carolina, Texas and Washington—are currently considering legislation to increase their gas tax or sales tax on gasoline. Three states—Connecticut, Louisiana and Texas— are considering legislation to protect their transportation funds from diversions. Three more states—Arkansas, Michigan, and Missouri—have pending legislation to convert the flat-rate excise tax on fuel entirely to a variable-rate tax. Additionally, a bill in Maine proposes indexing the current flat gas tax to the Consumer Price Index. Seven states—Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Washington and Wisconsin—have proposed bonds to pay for transportation projects.
Read the full report of 2015 proposed transportation funding initiatives.