By Carolyn Kramer, manager, Transportation Investment Advocacy Center
Texas and Connecticut have joined other states taking action this year to boost transportation funding.
Constitution State lawmakers approved a budget deal minutes before the legislative session expired that provides $10 billion over the next five years for transportation infrastructure. The $2.8 billion increase will be partially funded by redirecting half of one cent from the state’s sales tax. The transportation plan will allocate $613 million for highways, $281 million for bridge work, $101 million for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, and $43 million for bus service (a 25 percent expansion on current funding).
Lawmakers in the Lone Star State voted to put nearly $3 billion in transportation funding on the November 3 ballot. The two-pronged proposal includes using state general sales tax and a motor vehicle sales tax.
Texas is trying to close a $5 billion annual transportation funding gap. Last year, voters agreed to redirect some oil and gas tax revenues to the State Highway Fund from the Rainy Day Fund.
Nearly 40 states this year introduced transportation funding measures, and six have agreed to increase their gas taxes. Such efforts are the focus of ARTBA’s 2nd Annual National Workshop for State & Local Transportation Advocates, scheduled for July 15 in the Nation’s Capital. Learn more.