Elevating Transparency and Accelerating Mobility: Transportation dollars for transportation purposes
- September 16, 2021
- Posted by: Joe Milazzo II
- Category: Blog
See below for a requested member action item concerning legislative policy on transportation funding. Read on for more information.
One of RTA’s highest priorities in our approved 2022 action plan is modernizing revenues for multimodal freeways and streets — in other words, advancing sustainable, predictable, and sufficient transportation funding for our growing region and state. There are a number of ways of going about this; RTA has favored a simple, access user fee-based approach – in some form – as a viable method to replace the motor fuels tax fairly and effectively.
Raising the existing electric vehicle fee and enacting a hybrid vehicle fee are both access user fees that we support immediate action on, as they enable owners of those vehicles to contribute to the transportation system in lieu of fuel taxes that cannot be paid while driving under electric propulsion.
Another option gaining consideration this year is to ensure that all transportation-related sales taxes are dedicated to transportation purposes. Recent fiscal year information from the NC Department of Revenue indicates that more than $500m in state sales taxes on more than $11 billion in automotive related purchases (e.g., auto supply stores, tire retailers, ancillary purchases at filling stations, auto dealers, etc.) went to the state general fund this past year, rather than transportation.
RTA strongly supports the retention of transportation taxes for transportation purposes — for transparency, for trust with the public, and to provide the funding needed for the transportation system. To help with the transition of those funds from the general fund, we would suggest phasing those funds over to transportation incrementally (e.g., 20% a year for five years or similar).
Here is how you can help.
Please contact your legislator — or any that you have a good working relationship with — and ask them to request that transportation dollars be preserved for transportation purposes. Specifically, ask them to request or support a special provision for the budget conference report that directs automotive-related sales taxes go to NCDOT rather than the state general fund.
Don’t worry if you don’t know your own legislator, or whether they serve on the budget conference committee or another transportation committee. Your reaching out will let our elected representatives know that issue is important to the business community, and they can share the message with their colleagues.
Please call or reply with questions.
Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA executive director
RTA is the voice of the regional business community on transportation in the Research Triangle area.
RTA represents more than 100 leading businesses and 25 member chambers of commerce in central and eastern North Carolina. RTA is a regional program of the Raleigh Chamber.