Transportation funding modernization moves forward
- March 23, 2023
- Posted by: Joe Milazzo II
- Category: Blog
For the past two years I have had the honor of serving on the NC TEN Commission, founded by NC Senator Vicki Sawyer, which has brought together transportation leaders to find solution to transportation funding in our state. The commission has served as a very effective opportunity to engage and network with legislators and advocates for a more sustainable mobility future for our state.
This week, the “NC TEN” bill was filed as Senate bill 354 (S354).
The bill language contains four key provisions:
- Section 1: Increase the existing annual electric vehicle (EV) fee from $140.25 to $180, and create a new annual fee on hybrid vehicles of $90. These fees are in addition to annual registration fees.
- Section 2: Removes the $2000 cap on the existing, one-time, 3% highway use tax charged on vehicles registered in North Carolina.
- Section 3. Enacts a new tax on transportation network companies (TNCs); e.g., Uber, Lyft). The new transportation commerce tax will be 50¢ for each exclusive ride and 25¢ for for each shared ride.
- Section 4: Enables up to 3 Public Private Partnerships (P3s) each for NCDOT and Turnpike, or 6 total, rather than a total of 3 for NCDOT or Turnpike.
In terms of a quick bill analysis: Section 1 of the proposed legislation, which increases or creates newer fees for vehicles who cannot contribute as much (or any) gas taxes as other vehicles, moves us closer to the highway access user fee concept. The other provisions, concerning simplifying the highway use tax, adding a tax on TNCs, and expanding the number of potential P3s, will create more fairness and flexibility for highway funding.
The entire bill is quite promising and will move transportation funding forward for North Carolina.
We applaud Senators Sawyer, Woodard, and McInnis for the leadership on this bill and on transportation funding in general, and look forward to supporting these and other members of the senate and house as they advance the needed cause of funding modernization.
Let’s get moving,
Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA executive director
RTA is the voice of the regional business community on transportation