A Game Changing Solution for Highway Funding

A new bill of vital importance to RTA was introduced in the General Assembly last week, entitled “An Act to Study Implementation of an E-commerce Fee and to Transfer a Percentage of Sales Tax Revenues for Transportation-Related Needs”. This legislation, Senate Bill 793, could be the most impactful piece of highway funding legislation in North Carolina in many years.

The legislation would dedicate 2% of overall sales tax revenue to transportation commencing with fiscal year 2023, which begins in less than one month, on July 1. In subsequent fiscal years the percentage would continuously build by 2% before capping out and staying at 6% by the end of FY 25. This provision is expected to raise $600 million annually once it reaches 6%, representing around $6 billion in new revenue for transportation statewide over the next decade.

This proposed solution, which reallocates existing state revenues while introducing no new taxes, is an excellent way to create a renewable source of additional income for the Highway Trust Fund to support a number of transportation projects across North Carolina.

The regional business community has been pushing for the dedication of transportation dollars for transportation purposes for multiple years; RTA legislative and policy chair Julia Wright with Dominion Energy and RTA innovative paradigms chair Troy Dover with Summit Design and Engineering Services highlighted both the opportunity and the importance of the issue at last month’s RTA Regional Leadership Team meeting. The proposed legislation achieves RTA’s objectives in a sustainable and simple way — by allocating overall state sales tax revenues that are roughly equivalent to sales tax receipts associated with automotive-related purchases to transportation.

RTA fully supports this bipartisan legislation, and we urge our members to contact their legislator — House or Senate — and encourage them to support S793 and/or any similar provision that dedicates a portion of sales tax revenues for transportation.

In addition, RTA would particularly like to thank Senators Sawyer, McInnis and Woodard for introducing and serving as primary sponsors of the bill, Senators Lazzara and Salvador for co-sponsoring the legislation, and any and all members of the General Assembly for supporting its passage.

This is a great opportunity to advance mobility — and success here will fuel additional momentum to modernize funding for transportation.

Let’s get moving,

Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA Executive Director

RTA is the voice of the regional business community on transportation



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