A bill that swept through the North Carolina statehouse this week on its way to the governor’s desk would overhaul the state’s transportation funding model. The plan doesn’t include raising or imposing new taxes.
The House voted 105-7 on Wednesday, June 19, to sign off on minor changes to Gov. Pat McCrory’s 10-year, $16 billion funding model, which 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 vote clears the way for the bill to move to the governor’s desk. Senate lawmakers approved it earlier in the week on a 44-2 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 would apply 40 percent of funds, or $6.4 billion over the next decade, to statewide proposals. Regional proposals and the state’s DOT divisions would share the other 60 percent, or $9.6 billion.
Potential projects would be ranked on a scoring system, with the highest-rated projects getting priority.
McCrory said in a video message that the state’s population is expected to increase by 1.3 million during the next 10 years. At the same time, it faces a shortfall of $1.7 billion in transportation revenue.
“We need to be more efficient and more strategic in the way we invest your money,” he said.
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.
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