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Entries in Transportation Revenue (19)


Colorado Senate president trims proposed transportation tax hike as it advances

Denver Business Journal

April 13, 2017

Seeking the support of enough Republicans in the Colorado state Senate to push through a transportation tax-hike proposal, Senate President Kevin Granthammade several major changes to the bill during a committee hearing Tuesday, including the reduction of the proposed tax increase from 0.62 cents to 0.5.

Grantham, R-Cañon City, also committed $100 million per year from the state’s general fund to a new 20-year stream of revenue that would be used to cover roughly $3.5 billion a year in highway expansion projects, as well as generating additional funding for local roads and creating a new multi-billion-dollar multi-modal transportation grant fund.

Read on...


Paul Ryan: Short-Term Highway Funding Fix Likely


July 9, 2015

Rep. Paul Ryan, the chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, said Thursday that there isn’t enough time for a long-term highway funding bill to pass Congress before the August recess, and that a shorter fix through the end of the year is likely.

Congress has already passed one short-term highway fix this year — a funding “patch” ends on July 31 — and there have been more than 20 similar fixes over the past decade. Both parties have expressed interest in a six-year bill funding the nation’s highways, but Ryan said the limited time left before the deadline isn’t adequate to make that happen.

“We will have to do an extension through the year this month because it is impossible to put in place a six-year financing package for highways in the next two weeks, and we’re trying to impress this point upon our colleagues,” Ryan said at a breakfast hosted by Politico. “We want a six-year highway bill, we want a long-term highway bill, we want to give states the ability to plan ahead, but that means we have to come up with a way to do long-term financing.”   Read on…


Transportation Trumps ‘No Taxes’ in Many States

Tired of waiting for federal transportation dollars, eight states either hiked gas taxes or scaled back a planned cut to bring in more money.


July 7, 2015

Falling bridges and crumbling roads trumped anti-tax sentiment in more than a half-dozen states during this year’s legislative sessions, prompting them to increase gasoline and other taxes to address infrastructure needs. In some states, the taxes hadn’t gone up in decades.

Tired of waiting for federal transportation dollars, eight states, all but one of them headed by Republican governors, either hiked gas taxes or scaled back a planned cut to bring in more money. They are: Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Dakota and Utah. At least four states are putting the final touches on increases or are still considering them. And in California, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown has called for a special session to determine how to finance $59 billion in freeway and road repairs.

Even in states that debated the issue but declined to act, momentum could carry over into next year’s sessions.   Read on...


House Transportation Committee Begins MAP-21 Reauthorization with First Hearing

"A long-term bill is critical because it will provide states, contractors and others the certainty they need to promote large capital projects, and the necessary capital to support them," Levenick said. He also commented on the need to invest more. "Despite the positive provisions included in MAP-21, the simple fact is this—our infrastructure is falling apart and our economy is falling behind as a result... If we are to continue to grow our economy, we need improvements in our infrastructure so that we can export and compete more efficiently and effectively."

Click here for complete article > AASHTO

January 17, 2014

Less than nine months from the expiration of the current surface transportation bill, MAP-21, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Bill Shuster (R-PA) held a hearing on Tuesday to begin discussions on a reauthorization measure.

"MAP-21 expires at the end of September. My hope is to get reauthorization done on time. In order to do that, the committee's work is ramping up. Today, we are formally kicking off our reauthorization process with this hearing," Shuster said in his opening statement. "The next bill must ensure that our surface transportation system can continue to support the U.S. economy and provide Americans with a good quality of life. This bill is about providing a strong physical platform for U.S. companies to compete at home and abroad. It's about making sure that Americans don't waste countless hours sitting in traffic away from their families and friends. It's about making sure that we can purchase the goods and services that we've come to rely on in our daily lives."…

Click here for complete Hearing and Testimony from January 14, 2014

This Transportation TV News Update brings you special coverage of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's first hearing in 2014. Committee Chair Bill Shuster (R-PA) wants to develop new legislation to reauthorize Federal surface transportation programs. Funding for the nation's highway and transit programs ends Sept. 30. Among those to testify was Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, Chair of the National Governors Association.


Finding funding for transportation biggest challenge, says AASHTO’s new president

What will Congress do? 323 days to the transportation fiscal cliff... Is $20 per household too much to ask for a competive transportation system?

Hancock stressed, though, that AASHTO is not recommending any one particular transportation funding solution. “We’re trying to establish a ‘menu’ of options Congress to consider; we’re not prescribing or favoring any particular set,” he explained. “We can only list potential options of how it can be done; it’s up to Congress to decide what to use.”

Click here for complete article > Fleet Owner

November 11, 2013

Mike Hancock, secretary of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) and newly elected president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), believes that figuring out how to fund both near- and long-term U.S. transportation needs is going to be “the single toughest issue we face” and will represent one of AASHTO’s top priorities in the coming years.

“We’ve got to make sure Congress and the American people understand that the highway trust fund [HTF] is not able to sustain itself and will not provide the funds we so desperately need to maintain and expand our transportation networks in this country,” he explained in a telephone interview with Fleet Owner…


Less than $20 per household needed to maintain transportation infrastructure and enhance U.S. competitiveness… Can you support it?

Congress must also consider an investment level that would be required to equal and maintain—in real terms—the revenue levels that were achieved in 1993 from federal motor fuel taxes and other Highway Trust Fund revenue sources, which was the last time federal motor fuel taxes were increased (an average of $73.3 billion per year between 2015 and 2020). This investment level will enable the nation’s transportation infrastructure to once again help enhance America’s global competitiveness. It represents a 28.4 percent increase in program funding over maintenance of current investment levels adjusted for inflation. On a monthly basis, the amount of additional federal funding needed to support this level of expenditure is estimated to be $19.06 per household.

Click here to read the resolution > AASHTO Journal

October 25, 2013

This resolution states that the federal government must continue to play a vibrant and stable funding role in investing in, maintaining, and operating a surface transportation system that meets the needs of its customers. Congress must at least maintain the existing MAP-21 highway and transit program investment level in real terms and also consider an investment level that meets the needs identified by U.S. Department of Transportation's projections that $63.1 billion per year between 2015 and 2020 is needed to address the nation's surface transportation conditions. Congress must also consider an investment level that would equal or maintain revenue levels achieved in 1993, the last time the federal gas tax was raised, coming from a variety of existing and new funding mechanisms (though none identified in particular in preference to others). The resolution calls for "ample time" to implement MAP-21, with authorization lasting for a duration of six years.


Testimony of Jack Schenendorf Before the Committee on Environment and Public Works, United States Senate, Wednesday, September 25, 2013

For decades, the United States has underinvested in the national surface transportation network. As a result, the aging, congested network is in need of repair and does not have adequate capacity to accommodate future population and economic growth. Despite the persistent calls of policy groups, as well as independent, government-sponsored commissions and studies, for increased investment, the Highway Trust Fund-the primary vehicle for federal surface transportation funding-has been perpetually underfunded.

Jack Schenendorf represents the Ports-to-Plains Alliance in Washington, DC.  Jack is Of Counsel with Covington & Burling LLP in Washington, D.C.  Prior to joining Covington, he served on the staff of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for 25 years. I also served as Vice Chair of the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission (hereinafter referred to as the "Policy and Revenue Study Commission") from 2005 until 2008.

Jack addressed:

  • The effects of underinvestment on the National economy
  • Highway Trust Fund Solvency
  • Principles for Evaluating Appropriate Solutions
  • Possible Solutions

His Conclusion:

In other words, this transportation crisis is predictable. We can see it coming. We know why it is happening. We know when it is going to happen, and we have time to stop it. Most importantly, we know what to do to stop it - and, in fact, revenue-raising solutions to maintain and improve our surface transportation network can be implemented almost immediately. The problem has been politics. There has not been the political will to raise the federal motor fuel or diesel fuel taxes that comprise the majority of federal surface transportation funding, even though study after study, and report after report, has recommended doing so.

In the mid-1950's, this Committee and President Eisenhower had the foresight to understand how a system of Interstate Highways would transform the Nation. If there was ever a time to take a similarly daring look at our nation surface transportation network, it is now. The Nation faces challenges similar to those of the Eisenhower era. However, due to the global economy, the imperative for change is even stronger.

It is time to act.

Click here for his complete testimony (12mb)


Austin: TxDOT plan will save up to $2 billion

In 2012, I challenged the department to come up with $2 billion in savings over the next few years. Here are a few ways we’re doing that.

Click here for complete article > Amarillo Globe

September 21, 2013

For more than 96 years, the Texas Department of Transportation has been providing the state with the finest transportation infrastructure in the country. It has not always been easy.

In that time, the population has exploded from about 4 million residents to more than 26 million people. When TxDOT started, our main focus was to get the farmer out of the mud. Today, Texas manufacturers are shipping computers and auto parts, wind turbines and petrochemicals, medical equipment and electronics on our roads from north Texas to south, and points beyond our borders. TxDOT is now more than just highways, however — its multimodal responsibilities include rail, ports and aviation, to name a few…