North Carolina's no-new-taxes transportation funding plan advances

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A new transportation funding model in North Carolina is one step closer to passage. The plan doesn’t include raising or imposing new taxes.

The Senate voted 44-2 on Monday, July 17, 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 for spreading state and federal transportation dollars.

The bill now moves back to the House chamber for consideration of minor changes. The chamber approved the bill in May 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 over the next decade. 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 state DOT would be required to use objective criteria to rank projects for funding. The agency would have until August to finalize the criteria for evaluating projects.

To view other legislative activities of interest for North Carolina, click here.

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