Texas and Maine measures pass overwhelmingly, ARTBA report shows
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.