Voters weigh in on transportation issues

By Keith Goble, state legislative editor

During the Nov. 8 election voters in nearly half of the 50 state’s had their say on various transportation-related initiatives with hundreds of billions of dollars at stake. Land Line tracked hundreds of measures covering statewide, county and local ballot initiatives. Here is a state-by-state breakdown of how some notable initiatives fared on ballots.

Alabama

Amendment 12: Statewide

Whether to authorize the Legislature to allow cities in Baldwin County to build and operate toll roads and bridges. Toll road authorities are permitted to sell bonds to finance the projects PASSED

CALIFORNIA

Proposition 53: Statewide

To require a public vote before the state could issue more than $2 billion in revenue bonds. It would also prohibit dividing projects into multiple projects to avoid a statewide voter approval requirement. The rule would apply to previously approved projects if the remaining bond amount exceeds $2 billion, such as the high-speed rail, or "bullet train," project FAILED

Measure M: Los Angeles County

To renew a half-cent sales tax for road projects. An additional half-cent sales tax increase is included to expand and improve light rail and subway lines. Estimated to raise $120 billion over 40 years. However, it does not include a sunset date. PASSED

Measure A: San Diego County

To raise the local sales tax by one-half cent for projects that include freeway and bridge repair, pothole/street repairs, and congestion relief and transit. The 40-year tax is estimated to raise $18.2 billion FAILED

FLORIDA

Question 6: Manatee County

Authorize a 15-year, half-cent sales tax for public infrastructure with three-fourths of the $30 million annually allotted to help reduce traffic congestion and improve roadways throughout the county PASSED

ILLINOIS

Amendment: Statewide

To enact a transportation "lockbox" to prevent state lawmakers and the governor’s office from using revenues from the state’s road fund for purposes not related to transportation. The protection would not apply to state and local sales taxes PASSED

LOUISIANA

Amendment 5: Statewide

Would establish the Revenue Stabilization Trust Fund for construction projects and transportation infrastructure. Fund would be covered by corporate and oil taxes PASSED

MAINE

Question 6: Statewide

Authorize $100 million in general bond revenues with $80 million designated for construction and maintenance of state highways and local bridges, and $20 million for projects that include the state’s ports, harbors, and transit and freight rail. PASSED

MISSOURI

Proposition A: Statewide

Would increase taxes on cigarettes by 23 cents per pack of 20 by 2021 to benefit transportation work. An additional 5 percent sales tax would be applied for other tobacco products. Once fully implemented, tax revenue is estimated to generate between $95 million and $103 million. FAILED

NEVADA

Question 5: Clark County

To more than triple the local fuel tax rate over 10 years to provide $3 billion in funding for road construction and maintenance projects. PASSED

NEW JERSEY

Question 2: Statewide

Set up a transportation "lockbox" to ensure that all revenue from the state’s fuel taxes permanently goes toward improving transportation infrastructure. All revenue from the petroleum products gross receipts< tax that is added to the state’s fuel rates would also be dedicated to the state’s Transportation Trust Fund PASSED

RHODE ISLAND

Question 5: Statewide

Authorize the state to request to borrow $70 million to fund improvements to the Port of Davisville at Quonset and the Port of Providence. PASSED

WASHINGTON

Initiative 732: Statewide

To collect a carbon emissions tax on certain fossil fuels and fossil-fuel-generated electricity. Plans call for setting the carbon emission tax at $15 per metric ton in July 2017. The tax would increase to $25 one year later. Each year thereafter the tax would increase by 3.5 percent plus inflation until the tax reaches $100 per metric ton. FAILED

LL