Public support for state & local transportation funding improvements remains strong

Public support for state & local transportation funding improvements remains strong

WASHINGTON – Voters in 18 states Nov. 8 approved 88 percent of 380 state and local ballot initiatives that are expected to generate almost $20 billion in one-time and recurring revenue for transportation improvement projects, according to initial results compiled by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA).
The results of 23 measures are pending.

The approval rate was higher than the historical average tracked by ARTBA’s Transportation Investment Advocacy Center (ARTBA-TIAC). Since 2010, voters in 44 states have approved an average 85 percent of nearly 3,000 state and local ballot measures, raising an estimated $342 billion in new and renewed revenue.

“A key takeaway is that voters remain committed to investing their tax dollars in better streets, roads, bridges, and transit systems even in the face of record inflation and high gasoline prices that are straining household budgets,” said TIAC Director Carolyn Kramer Simons.

Voter endorsement comes a year after passage of the landmark federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The revenue generated by the Nov. 8 results will help local governments compete for IIJA-related discretionary grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Among the key outcomes:

Texas: Voters approved a combined $12.9 billion in spending from 114 measures, the most revenue of any state. Texans in 29 localities approved 27 measures—primarily local sales taxes and bonds—to generate $1.5 billion for city, town, and county transportation improvements.

California: San Francisco voters approved (69-31 percent) continuing an existing sales tax of 0.5 percent for an additional 30 years and authorized the Transportation Authority to issue up to $1.91 billion in bonds, to be repaid with the proceeds of the tax. It is expected to generate up to $236 million annually.

Colorado–El Paso County: Voters approved (80-20 percent) a one-cent sales tax to fund local transportation projects, generating an estimated $1 billion over the next 10 years. Of the approved revenue, 55 percent is allocated to capital projects, 35 percent to maintenance, and 10 percent to transit. Voters last renewed the measure with 79.5 percent of the vote in 2014.

The full ballot report is available on the Center’s website.

Established in 2014, the TIAC is an educational and informational resource designed to help private citizens, legislators, organizations, and businesses successfully grow transportation investment at the state and local levels.

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