North Carolina adopts transportation funding model without new taxes

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Wednesday, July 03, 2013

A new law in North Carolina overhauls the state’s transportation funding model. The new model avoids raising or imposing new taxes.

Gov. Pat McCrory’s 10-year, $16 billion funding model calls for putting available resources to the state’s greatest transportation priorities. Specifically, HB817 sets up three tiers of projects for spreading state and federal transportation dollars.

North Carolina law previously required all available funding to be divided evenly between the state’s 14 Department of Transportation divisions.

McCrory said during his campaign for governor that the formula was unfair to metropolitan areas because big projects claimed most available funding.

The governor’s model applies 40 percent of funds, or $6.4 billion over the next decade, to statewide proposals. Regional proposals and the state’s DOT divisions will share the other 60 percent, or $9.6 billion.

Potential projects will 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.

“Everything we do is focused on strengthening our economy and making government operate more efficiently,” McCrory said in prepared remarks. “This landmark legislation helps us do both.”

The state DOT is required to use objective criteria to rank projects for funding. The agency will 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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