(WASHINGTON) – Preliminary Nov. 3 election results show voters in eight states approved 26 of 37 (70 percent) state or local referendums to increase transportation funding, according to an analysis by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s “Transportation Investment Advocacy Center™” (ARTBA-TIAC).
The measures will generate nearly $4 billion in estimated revenue for transportation projects over the coming years.
Texas voters made the biggest commitment. Proposition 7 directs $2.5 billion into the state’s transportation fund once Texas’s general sales tax revenue exceeds $28 billion in the fiscal year. And beginning in September 2019, 35 percent of motor vehicle sales tax revenue over the $5 billion threshold will be used for transportation projects.
Preliminary results show Proposition 7 passed with the support of 83 percent of Texas voters. In a similar referendum last November, 80 percent of Texas voters agreed to redirect $1.2 billion in oil and gas tax revenues from a rainy day fund to the state highway system.
Voters in Maine this week approved an $85 million bond for transportation projects with over 70 percent support.
In Utah, preliminary results show 10 of 17 counties approved a ballot measure to increase the local-option sales and use tax by 0.25 percent in order to fund transportation infrastructure maintenance and improvements, including roads, bridges, pedestrian walkways, and transit. The ability to impose a local-option sales tax was granted in March by the state legislature as part of a larger statewide transportation funding package.
The vote margin was tight in several of the Utah counties, leading to the possibility that outcomes could change as mail-in votes are tallied.
Voters in Colorado, Connecticut, Michigan, Oregon and Washington state also voted on transportation measures. Seattle voters agreed to a $950 million property tax levy over nine years to maintain and modernize the city’s transportation infrastructure.
Four additional measures to support transit operations, totaling $7.5 million, were approved by voters in Michigan.
Over the past decade, voters have approved an average 72 percent of ballot measures to increase transportation investment.
Established in early 2014, TIAC (www.transportationinvestment.org) is a first-of-its-kind, dynamic education program and internet-based information resource designed to help private citizens, legislators, organizations and businesses successfully grow transportation infrastructure investment at the state and local levels through the legislative and ballot initiative processes.