California voters will likely decide on whether to repeal a 12-cents gas tax increase while Missouri voters will decide whether to increase the state's 17-cents per gallon gas tax, fourth lowest in the nation, by 10-cents per gallon over four years.
It's not looking good for transportation advocates who want to retain over $5 billion in annual transportation funding made possible the passage of a bill last year that enabled the first gas tax increase in California since 1994.
A bill backed by Gov. Malloy that directs the Department of Transporation to prepare a plan to toll three interstates and two state parkways narrowly passed two legislative committees largely along party lines. It now advances to the full House.
It is an understatement that Increasing fuel taxes is challenging. If there is an opportune time to do it, it's when gas prices are relatively low, when the state decides to cut other taxes, and when there's bipartisan support.
Two bills target hybrid and electric vehicles and even fuel efficient vehicles with new registration fees to increase road funding, as nine states did last year. However, many of those states also hiked gas taxes in the same legislation.
Without an automatic adjustment for gas taxes, revenue from the tax declines due to increasing fuel efficiency standards while road maintenance and construction costs increase due to inflation. Witness Wisconsin's woes.
Already California, Indiana, Montana, South Carolina (overriding a governor's veto), Tennessee, and Utah* have raised gas taxes this year, while last year was a drought—only New Jersey increased its gas tax.
A bill to ask voters in November to increase the state sales tax by 0.62 percent to fund transportation projects passed its first House committee March 22 on a partisan vote, with Democrats in support and Republican opposed.
Pennsylvania, the state that had the highest gas tax last year, saw the highest gas tax increase of 7.9 cents per gallon, the final increment of a 2013 law. Michigan's 7.3 cents tax increase, signed into law in 2015, is the second largest increase.
The overwhelming majority of states that increased gas taxes last year were Republican-controlled. In states where the legislature is split, it's more difficult to approve transportation funding legislation. Down-ballot races may prove decisive.
A bill to provide $750 million in road and bridge financing was signed by Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday after stripping a provision to apply for a federal grant to conduct a pilot program similar to the California Road Charge Pilot.
Pennsylvania has the nation's highest state gas and diesel taxes, 51.4 cents per gallon and 65.1 cents per gallon, respectively. Both are scheduled to increase up to 10 cents on Jan 1. A bill has been introduced to halt all future fuel tax increases.
On July 1, two states will increase gas taxes, one will decrease its tax, and two will be adjusted downwards per state legislation, according to Carl Davis, research director at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP).
Two notable transportation developments occur in California on July 1. First, a pilot road charge program begins—5,000 motorists will be charged by the mile driven. Second, the gas tax drops by 2.2 cents. An analysis by ITEP looks at both.
Rather than supporting an increase in gas taxes and vehicle registration fees like many states are doing to fund transportation spending, Gov. Chris Christie asks the legislature to find funds by making cuts within the general fund.
Missouri has come up with a unique way to pay for roads, and it's even a user fee, though it bears no direct relation to road users other than for those driving to the store to buy their cigarettes. So much for using the tax to address public health.
A transportation funding proposal including a gas tax will be prepared for the 2017 legislative session. The media event in the EmX bus highlighted the need to have continuous, dedicated lanes for the Eugene-Springfield bus rapid transit system.
The estate tax reduction, plus increasing the retirement income tax exemption, would be traded for an unspecified hike in the gas tax to keep the Transportation Trust Fund solvent. But the $400 million in tax cuts won't satisfy Gov. Chris Christie.
Among the ten state legislatures, mostly Republican controlled, which passed gas tax increases last year, the one that stood out the most was Nebraska's because it had to override Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) veto of the six-cent gas tax hike bill.