Posts Tagged "gas tax"
With a large number of state legislatures convening as the new year gets underway, it’s worth a look back at an important trend from 2013: States stepping forward to raise additional money for transportation. With federal funding remaining flat in 2012′s transportation bill (MAP-21) and after years of deferred action during the long recession, a large number of states, metro areas and local communities moved to supplement federal dollars with new revenues of their own.
Barring a successful rebellion within one party or the other, it looks like Congress may have the first bipartisan budget agreement since 2010. That is good news for the economy, and it is especially welcome where transportation infrastructure is concerned.
More than a third of all U.S. states have plans of some sort to raise new money for transportation to help cover yawning budget shortfalls and keep up with maintenance and new construction of their state transportation networks. NPR picked up that story this week and talked to T4 America director James Corless about the growing trend of states stepping out on their own to raise their own money for transportation to augment the federal funding that did not increase with the last transportation bill.
When Maryland’s Intercounty Connector (ICC) highway opened in 2011, it did more than create a new east-west toll road between I-270 and I-95 in the northern suburbs of Washington, DC: It also severely hampered Maryland’s ability to build other large-scale transportation projects for years to come. But now there’s significant momentum to raise new state revenues for transportation to ensure that the state won’t have to shelve their plans for a 21st century transportation system.
Though Massachusetts’ bridges are middle of the pack in deficiency, they’re beyond middle age (an average of 56-plus years) and many of its busy subways, bus lines and commuter trains – and the roads, bridges and tunnels that carry them — are starting to fall apart after decades of heavy use. Saddled with debt from the Big Dig (among other things) and chronically underfunded after years of budget cuts, Massachusetts leaders and advocates are trying to reform their transportation agencies while raising new money to bring an aging system into the 21st century.
Is the per-gallon gas tax going the way of the full-service filling station? To look at the flurry of proposals coming out lately, you might think so. Since the start of the year, major new proposals from industry leaders, governors and state legislatures have sparked a new debate over the ways we collect revenue collection for transportation — at the federal, state and local levels. Industry groups have proposed creative ways to essentially raise the gas tax. At the same time, 2013 already has seen several ambitious proposals for funding transportation outside of the excise tax on gas.
Though some pieces have fallen into place – including a decision on who will lead the House’s key transportation committee for the next two years — the 2012 election still leaves a number of key questions hanging in the balance. We’ve looked at a few local transportation ballot measures, but what will the impact be on transportation at the federal level as a result of the 2012 elections?
It took three tries in the Georgia legislature for metro Atlanta to win the right to vote itself a regional sales tax to fix its transportation woes, and another two years of a grinding political process to come up with a list of 157 highway and transit projects that just might do the trick. Now […]
A supermajority of America’s mayors surveyed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors are clamoring for a reorientation in our nation’s transportation policy toward fixing what we have and investing in new options. Ninety-eight percent of mayors identified affordable, reliable transit as crucial to their city’s recovery and growth, according to a survey of 176 mayors […]
A new report out today contains some fascinating facts about the federal gas tax – a subject sure to be of great contention as this new Congress tries to decide whether to raise it and how best to spend it. “Do Roads Pay for Themselves? Setting the Record Straight on Transportation Funding,” a report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.