North Carolina's transportation funding change won't rely on new taxes

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 5/30/2013

A transportation funding model continues to move ahead at the North Carolina statehouse. The plan does not include raising or imposing new taxes.
The Senate Transportation Committee voted to advance Gov. Pat McCrory’s 10-year, $16 billion funding model that calls for putting available resources to the state’s greatest transportation priorities. Specifically, HB817 would set up three tiers of projects.
House lawmakers already approved the bill on a 102-15 vote.
North Carolina law now requires all available funding to be divided evenly between the state’s 14 Department of Transportation divisions.
The governor’s plan puts greater emphasis on ranking formulas that will be developed later. Statewide proposals would get 40 percent of funds, or $6.4 billion. Regional proposals and the state’s DOT divisions would share the other 60 percent, or $9.6 billion.
Supporters say the funding model takes political weight out of transportation decisions.
McCrory recently said his strategic mobility formula would better allow data-driven decisions about which project priorities advance.
Critics say they are concerned that the new formula would result in fewer projects done in rural areas.
The bill is awaiting further consideration in the Senate Finance Committee. If approved, it would move to the Senate Appropriations Committee before it could come up for Senate floor discussion.
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