Highway funding plans passed in recent years by US states
About two-thirds of the states have enacted transportation funding measures within the past five years. Here’s a look at what those states have done.
2012: Voters approve nearly $454 million in bonds for transportation projects, including about $250 million for roads and $195 million for grants to local ports, harbors and rail projects.
2012: Voters approve a one-half cent sales tax increase for 10 years to cover $1.3 billion in bonds for highways. The tax and bonds are part of a total $1.8 billion highway program that also dedicates an existing 1 cent-per-gallon fuel tax to roads.
2016: Republican Gov. Asa Hutchison signs a law redirecting $50 million from surplus, investments and other funds to highways. A study released later that year estimates Arkansas has $750 million of needed repairs to roads and bridges.
2017: Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signs a law projected to raise $52.4 billion over 10 years for roads, bridges, public transit and biking and walking trails. Gasoline taxes will rise by 12 cents per gallon in November and by 19.5 cents by 2020. Diesel taxes will rise by a total of 20 cents per gallon, and diesel sales taxes by 4 percent.
The law also includes new vehicle fees. Both the taxes and fees will rise annually with inflation. The plan aims to address part of a $137 billion backlog of deferred maintenance on state and local roads. It also repays $706 million diverted from transportation funds to general purposes in previous years.
2015: Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy signs a law authorizing $2.8 billion in bonds to be combined with existing money under a $10 billion, five-year transportation plan. The bonds are to be repaid partly by diverting one-half cent of Connecticut’s existing general sales tax to a transportation fund. Malloy promoted the law as a first step in a 30-year, $100 billion transportation initiative, but there is no funding in place yet for that longer-term plan.
2015: Democratic Gov. Jack Markell signs a law increasing the tax on vehicle sales from 3.75 percent to 4.25 percent and raising various vehicle-related fees. The new revenue will allow for additional bonding, generating $330 million over six years for transportation.
2015: Republican Gov. Nathan Deal signs a law projected to raise an average of $1 billion annually over five years for transportation. It converts the state’s previous mix of fuel taxes to a new tax of 26 cents a gallon on gasoline and 29 cents on diesel. It also imposes new fees on electric vehicles, heavy trucks and hotel stays and ends a tax break on jet fuel at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
2016: Democratic Gov. David Ige signs a law shifting $37 million from the general fund to highways. The state transportation department has projected that more than $200 million in projects will need to be eliminated over the next five years because of revenue shortfalls in the highway fund.
2014: Republican Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter signs a law redirecting part of the state’s cigarette tax revenues to repaying highway bonds and addressing part of an estimated $262 million annual backlog in road maintenance. The transfer was projected to be about $13 million in 2017.
2015: Otter signs a law raising the fuel tax by 7 cents a gallon and vehicle registration fees by $21. It’s projected to generate $95 million annually for transportation. The new law also allows a percentage of the year-end surplus in the state’s general fund to be used for transportation.
2017: Otter allows legislation to become law without his signature authorizing about $300 million in bonds for roads to be repaid with future federal money. It also redirects 1 percent of sales tax revenues from the general revenue to roads, raising about $15 million annually.
2016: Republican Gov. Mike Pence, now the vice president, signs a law shifting about $230 million over two years from the state’s reserve fund to state highways and bridges; the reserves also are tapped for about $580 million to fund work on city and county roads.
2017: Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb signs a law projected to raise $1.2 billion annually for transportation. It raises the gas tax 10 cents a gallon starting in July, with an inflationary adjustment for the next seven years, and creates a $15 annual vehicle fee, $50 hybrid vehicle fee and $150 electric vehicle fee. It gradually shifts all sales tax revenue on gasoline from the general fund to highways, starting in 2020, and lets the governor seek federal approval for an expansion of toll roads.
2015: Republican Gov. Terry Branstad signs a law raising the gas tax 10 cents a gallon and increasing permit fees for oversized trucks. The fuel tax hike is projected to raise $215 million annually for roads and bridges, plugging a similarly sized funding gap.
2015: Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear signs a law blocking most of a gas tax reduction that had been scheduled to take effect under an existing law linking the state’s tax rate to wholesale fuel prices. Instead of falling from 26.2 cents a gallon to 22.1 cents, the fuel tax rate was frozen at no less than 26 cents a gallon. The measure averts much of a projected $150 million cut to the road fund.
2016: Voters approve a constitutional amendment directing a portion of annual corporate, oil and gas taxes to a new reserve fund, if those tax revenues exceed certain thresholds. Once the fund reaches $5 billion, up to 10 percent of the money can be used for construction and transportation infrastructure projects. But those triggers haven’t been hit, and aren’t expected to be for years. The state has a backlog of about $13 billion of needed road and bridge improvements.
2012: Voters approve nearly $52 million in bonds for highways and other modes of transportation to match an estimated $106 million from the federal government and other sources.
2013: Voters approve $100 million in bonds for the same purpose to match an estimated $154 million from the federal government and other sources.
2015: Voters approve $85 million in bonds to match an estimated $122 million from the federal government and other sources.
2016: Voters approve $100 million in bonds to match an estimated $137 million from the federal government and other sources.
2013: Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley signs a law imposing a 1 percent sales tax on gasoline that year, rising to 3 percent by 2015 and as much as 5 percent in 2016, and adjusted annually for inflation in the future. The law also authorizes additional bonds, raises vehicle registration fees and requires increases in public transit fares. The package is projected to generate $638 million in 2017.
2013: The Democratic-led Legislature overrides a veto by Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick to enact a law raising the gas tax by 3 cents a gallon, raising the cigarette tax by $1 per pack and applying the state sales tax to computer software and services. The new taxes are projected to raise $500 million annually for transportation.
2015: Republican Gov. Rick Snyder signs a law raising the gas tax by 7.3 cents a gallon and the diesel tax by 11.3 cents a gallon starting in 2017, with automatic inflationary increases beginning in 2022. The law also raises vehicle registration fees by 20 percent, imposes new fees on electric and hybrid vehicles and shifts general funds to the road budget. The package is projected to increase road funding by $1.2 billion annually.
The law also expands property tax credits for homeowners and renters in 2018 and could trigger income tax reductions starting in 2023 if general revenue growth outpaces inflation.
2015: Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signs a law authorizing $200 million in bonds to rebuild deficient bridges, to be repaid with an estimated $36 million annually from existing taxes on casinos.
2017: Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock signs a law passed by the Republican-led Legislature to phase in a 6 cent-a-gallon gas tax hike and 2-cent diesel tax increase by 2022. The tax hikes are projected to raise $27 million next year. The revenue will allow the state to meet its federal highway funding match, averting plans to delay about 30 highway, bicycle and pedestrian projects costing nearly $200 million next year.
2015: The nonpartisan Legislature overrides the veto of Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts to enact a law gradually increasing the fuel tax by 6 cents a gallon over four years. The measure is projected to generate about $215 million over the first five years and about $76 million annually when fully phased in.
2014: Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan signs a law raising the gasoline and diesel fuel taxes by 4 cents a gallon. The law increases funding for highway improvements for two years, then earmarks about half the proceeds to pay off $200 million in bonds to finish an Interstate 93 expansion. The taxes are to expire when the debt is paid off in about 20 years.
2016: Republican Gov. Chris Christie signs a law passed by the Democratic-led Legislature raising the gas tax by 23 cents a gallon, catapulting the state from the second lowest rate to one of the highest in the nation. It’s projected to generate $2 billion annually for eight years for a transportation trust fund that had been depleted. The law also cuts the state sales tax, phases out the estate tax by 2018 and increases tax breaks for low-income residents, retirees and veterans.
2015: Republican Gov. Pat McCrory signs a law slightly reducing the fuel tax while averting a larger, projected 7-cent decline that had been expected to occur because of falling gas prices. But the law adds an annual inflationary adjustment for the fuel tax in future years. The change lowered the state’s projected gas tax revenue loss in that initial year from $345 million to $81 million.
2013: Republican Gov. John Kasich signs a two-year transportation budget that allows toll revenue from the Ohio Turnpike to be used for other roads.
2017: Kasich signs a transportation budget allowing counties to raise license plate fees by $5, subject to local voter approval, and increasing motor vehicle bureau fees by $2.
2013: Republican Gov. Tom Corbett signs a law significantly raising the wholesale gas tax, vehicle fees and driver’s license fees while repealing a 12-cent-per gallon retail gas tax. The package is projected to generate $2.3 billion annually when phased in by 2017, addressing a backlog of needed improvements to roads, bridges and mass transit facilities.
2014: A budget signed by Democratic Gov. Lincoln Chafee increases the gas tax by a penny and links future increases to inflation. It also raises vehicle inspection fees.
2016: Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo signs a law authorizing $300 million in bonds and imposing tolls of up to $20 for each cross-state trip by large commercial trucks. The law is projected by transportation officials to generate $580 million over five years for a bridge-repair effort.
2016: Republican Gov. Nikki Haley signs a law redirecting more than $200 million from existing fees, vehicle sales taxes and other revenue to support $2.2 billion in bonds for major highway and bridge improvements. The state transportation department says later that it needs an additional $28 billion over the next 25 years to bring the state’s highway system up to good condition.
2015: Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard signs a law raising fuel taxes by 6 cents a gallon, vehicle sales taxes by 1 percent and license plate fees by 20 percent. The funding package is projected to generate $85 million annually for state and local roads and bridges.
2017: Republican Gov. Bill Haslam signs a law gradually raising the gasoline tax by 6 cents a gallon and the diesel tax by 10 cents over three years, generating a projected $350 million annually for roads. The state has a backlog of more than $10 billion of road and bridge projects. The new law also cuts other taxes by an estimated $400 million, including a 20 percent reduction in the sales tax on groceries, a 1 percentage point cut to capital gains taxes, cuts to corporate taxes paid by manufactures and expanded property tax breaks for disabled veterans.
2014: Voters approve a constitutional amendment diverting half of the revenue from oil and gas extraction charges from the state’s reserve fund to transportation, an estimated shift of $1.2 billion annually.
2015: Voters approve a constitutional amendment redirecting more existing tax revenue to transportation. The state highway fund is projected to gain $2.5 billion annually from general sales tax revenue starting in September 2017. It also will gain 35 percent of vehicle sales tax revenues above a certain threshold, starting in September 2019.
2015: Republican Gov. Gary Herbert signs a law imposing a 12 percent wholesale tax on gasoline, resulting in a 5-cent-a-gallon tax hike that year and allowing annual inflationary increases in the future. It’s projected to raise $75 million annually. The law also lets local governments ask voters for a one-quarter cent sales tax for transportation projects.
2017: Herbert signs a law raising the wholesale gas tax by 4.5 percentage points and speeding up the implementation of the annual inflationary adjustments included in the 2015 law. He also signs a separate measure authorizing $1 billion in bonds to speed up previously approved highway projects.
2013: Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin signs a transportation budget increasing gas taxes by 5.9 cents per gallon — the net result of a new 2 percent sales tax and a reduction of slightly less than a penny in the per-gallon tax. It also increases diesel fuel taxes by 3 cents over two years. State officials say the new tax revenue was needed to match $56 million in federal funds for road and bridge repairs.
2013: Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell signs a law replacing the per-gallon gas tax with a new 3.5 percent wholesale tax on gasoline and a 6 percent tax in diesel fuel. The law also raises the state’s general sales tax by three-tenths of a percent and increases the vehicle titling tax. It’s projected to raise $880 million annual for roads when phased-in over four years, addressing a backlog of needed repairs.
2015: Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee signs a law raising the fuel tax by 11.9 cents a gallon over two years. The new law also authorizes additional bonding and raises various fees, including on vehicle registrations. The package is projected to generate $16 billion over 16 years for state and local roads, transit and bike and pedestrian routes. It also lets local voters increase taxes for public transit.
2017: The Republican-led Legislature votes to refer a $1.6 billion highway bonding measure to the ballot later this year.
2013: Republican Gov. Matt Mead signs a law raising the gas tax by 10 cents a gallon. It’s projected to generate $70 million annually for state and local roads.
2017: Mead signs a pair of laws doubling vehicle registration fees from $15 to $30 and driver’s license fees from $20 to $40. The increases are projected to generate nearly $23 million annually for transportation, freeing up money in the state’s general fund that has taken a hit from a downturn in the energy sector.