Traffic

Committee lays out funding options for state roads needs

Posted November 5, 2008

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— A statewide transportation committee met Wednesday to lay out its options for funding road projects throughout the state.

The 21st Century Transportation Committee, charged by the governor with the task of reducing congestion and improving efficiency, wants to raise $1 billion a year for the next 10 years to pay for new roads and to fix bridges.

Among the recommendations that were put forth Wednesday were increasing the vehicle registration fee by $30 and putting tolls on Interstates 95 and 77 (and possibly 40 and 85).

Transportation taxes among the options were:

  • Removing the cap on the state gas tax. The committee says the cap will cost the state approximately $430 million in revenues for the 2008-2009 fiscal year.
  • Increasing the highway-use tax (from 3 percent to 4 percent ) on vehicle purchases over two years. That would generate up to an estimated $200 million a year.
  • Implementing a vehicle miles-traveled fee, which would charge from a quarter-cent to a half-cent per mile for passenger vehicle travel. That would be an estimated $25 to $50 annual fee for the average driver and would generate anywhere from an estimated $165 million to $330 million annually.

The recommendations come the same day the Department of Transportation's chief financial officer reported revenue is down 6 percent while spending is up 11 percent.

Mark Foster told the DOT's board that automotive sales in October were the lowest in 25 years and that he is projecting an 11 percent to 12 percent budget shortfall of $325 million to $250 million for the next fiscal year.

Over the next three years, he said a $900 million to $1 billion shortfall is possible.

The transportation committee is scheduled to meet Dec. 10 to decide what options its members want to put before the General Assembly.

8 Comments

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  • Bob3425 Nov 6, 2008

    I wonder have they consider cutting unnecessary programs and waste to pay for this. Toll on highways that need to be fixed work or what about all those prisoners sounds like job training to me, it can't be call slave labor it call paying for room and board.

  • stupiditydeservesnosympathy Nov 6, 2008

    I am seriously condsidering moving to southside va and commuting to work. It's cheaper living and if this mile tax goes thru not many working here will afford to live here.

  • hi_i_am_wade Nov 5, 2008

    Great. The new democrats haven't even been sworn in yet and they are already raising taxes. My goodness, do they WANT people to leave this state?

  • starglow2005 Nov 5, 2008

    These proposed actions will only hurt the state even more because people will not want to come here to live, work, and vacation. The state will no longer be competitive with other surrounding states. I will simply take the back roads if they add tolls to all the major highways which our tax dollars already helped pay for when they were built. So go ahead and tax us all to death and see what happens.

  • whatelseisnew Nov 5, 2008

    I was wondering if they will get a constitutional challenge on that miles driven proposal. Just because you traveled x number of miles, it does not mean you traveled those miles within the boundaries of North Carolina. Thus you are being taxed and not receiving any benefit from the State. But yeah Dems have a one track mind; tax - spend, tax - spend, tax-spend. Not enough money, borrow - spend + tax - spend. Time to get real guys; wack the budget everywhere else and put it into our transportation needs. You robbed that money for a long time and you owe it back with interest. Let's get started by selling the Governors mansion on e-bay. Perdue has a place where she lives, give her a closet somewhere on Jones street to work from.

  • ncsufamily24 Nov 5, 2008

    "The transportation committee is scheduled to meet Dec. 10 to decide what options its members want to put before the General Assembly."
    With the Democrats in charge, it'll make no difference which
    options are placed before them. Increasing taxes will be their
    preferred option. It's their nature.......

  • planter Nov 5, 2008

    this group is really innovative...did they miss anything else they can tax or raise the tax on? I hope they don't get paid for providing these wonderful options...if so, there's the first place we can save some money. I'd hate for anyone to lose their job but that's where the fat needs to be trimmed. Take a look at the transportation department. I did see 3 out of 4 employees working today as I passed them along the road. If you tax us much more I won't even break even going to work.

  • dk12 Nov 5, 2008

    gee who would have guest raise more fee and taxes..YUK!!

    no mention of salary cuts and administration cost reductions? why is this?

    how do miles drive fee deal with people traveling out of state? people from out of state passing through? do anyone else notice they just want to add the fee not reduce fuel tax!!