Transportation funding initiatives prevail on election day

Voters across the nation expressed support for increased investment in surface transportation, approving 60 out of 90 related initiatives on November ballots. The approved measures will provide nearly $21 billion in additional funds for transportation projects, reports the American Road and Transportation Builders Association Transportation Investment Advocacy Center.

“These election results show, once again, the public wants our government to invest in mobility and safety and are willing to pay for it,” affirms ARTBA President Pete Ruane. “It doesn’t make a difference whether it is a Republican- or Democratic-leaning state. The newly-elected Congress and the White House must take note and do their job and permanently fix the Highway Trust Fund. Transportation funding cannot remain frozen in the ice of political inertia and partisanship. On average, states rely on federal funds for 52 percent of their highway and bridge capital investments.”

Texans approved the largest funding initiative, redirecting nearly $1.2 billion in oil and gas revenues from the state’s rainy day fund for transportation. Maryland (81 percent) and Wisconsin (80 percent) voters overwhelmingly approved measures to ensure that transportation-related revenues are used exclusively for their intended purpose, and not diverted to non-transportation programs. Rhode Island voters approved a statewide $35 million bond proposal. In Louisiana, a proposal to approve creation of a state constitutional amendment establishing a state infrastructure bank was rejected.

Of the county and local initiatives, the ARTBA Transportation Investment Advocacy Center notes approval of: a) 20 of the 32 measures to increase a gasoline or general sales tax for transportation investment; b) 13 of the 14 measures to issue local bonds for transportation investment; and, c) 23 of the 35 measures to increase property taxes for transportation investment.