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Committee suggests new taxes, fees for road needs

Posted November 19, 2008
Updated December 10, 2008

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— North Carolina motorists could pay a fee for the number of miles they travel in a year if the General Assembly were to approve a funding proposal for new revenue to help pay for state road projects.

It's one of several options that the state's 21st Century Transportation Committee will likely recommend to state lawmakers next month.

The transportation committee, charged by the governor to find ways to support fixing and maintaining roads, wants to raise $1 billion a year for the next 10 years for projects.

"It's going to require new revenue, not just a reallocation of current revenue because of the demands that are being placed on our transportation infrastructure," committee Chairman Brad Wilson said.

Others sources of revenue on the table include increasing the highway-use tax from 3 percent to 4 percent on vehicle purchases, increasing vehicle registration fees and putting tolls on some of the state's major highways.

But Rep. Nelson Cole, D-Rockingham, who sits on the committee, said it will be difficult to get the Legislature to support such taxes in a bad economic climate next year.

"While we'd love to embrace some of them, I don't see many going to the Legislature," Cole said. "I doubt if they'll even be introduced.

The vehicle miles-traveled fee would charge motorists a quarter-cent to a half-cent per mile for passenger vehicle travel and would generate up to an estimated $330 million annually.

For an average driver, that would be anywhere from $25 to $50 annual fee.

The state Department of Transportation is projecting an 11 percent to 12 percent budget shortfall for the next fiscal year, and officials said last week that a $900 million to $1 billion shortfall is possible in the state's three-year spending plan.

The transportation committee must now put together a formal proposal before presenting it to the General Assembly next month.

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  • pbjbeach Nov 21, 2008

    WAYNE1961:

    I JUST THINK THAT ONCE THAT FUNDING IS DESIGNATED FOR A CERTAIN ITEM THAT ONCE THE FUNDING STARTS TO COMMING IN TO THE OFFICES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE IT SHOULD BE PUT INTO A SORT OF A LOCKBOX AN THEN USED EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE FUNDING FOR THAT PARTICULAR ITEM/ AGENCY AN NOTHING ELSE PERIOD. THIS GOES FOR NCDOT , NCDOE. NCDOC. SHP .OR ANY OTHER AGENCY AN THEN MAKE THE MANGERS OF THESE AGENCYS MANGER THESE FUNDS AN BE HELD INDIVUASUALY RESPONSIBLE FOR ITS OWN AGENCYS FUND SHORT FALLS OR EXCESSS AN REWARDED IF INDEED THERE IS AN EXCESS OF FUNDING AT THE BEGINING OF THE NEXT NEW FICISCAL YEAR THANK YOU

  • pbjbeach Nov 21, 2008

    WAYNE1961

    YES I KNOW THAT ROADS ARE SUPPOSE TO MEET THE STATE NCDOT SPECEFICIATIONS TO BE TAKEN ON TO THE HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE PROGRAM BUT THAT IS STILL JUST AS I SAID EAIRLIER STATE HIGHWAY INSPECTORS AREN'T BEING ALLOWED TO PERFORM THEIR JOBS AN THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE NCDOT SPECEFICIATIONS IS NOT BEING ALLOWED TO BE DONE AN DONE PROPERLY WHEN ROADWAYS ARE INTINIALY BEING CONSTRUCTED UNDER CONTRACT THANK YOU

  • wayne1961 Nov 20, 2008

    A good chart to see NCDOT funding sources and uses
    http://www.ncdot.org/about/finance/

    maltonr2, if you want to use prison labor to repair roads do you want them to drive motor graders, dump trunks, or rollers to repair the roads? Is that safe for the public? Do you really want a prisoner operating a stop-go sign through a work zone? Back in the 1920s-1930s prison labor built our roads, but I am not sure it would be a good use of resources to do it now given the equipment and technology. Even if you could work out the prison labor, it still would not make up $2 BILLON of yearly unmet needs. Based on the link I gave you above, the total maintenance budget is less than $1 Billion/year. More, substantial suggestions need to be made.

    pbjbeach, roads have to meet state specs to be taken on the state maintenance system

  • Insensitive Nov 20, 2008

    Just for those that don't know, we pay 29.9 cents per gallon in fuel tax currently. I think that is entirely enough.

  • pbjbeach Nov 20, 2008

    i sincerely beg to differ with one other blogger here NC is a tax frendly state but only if you own a business in order to help push more rual north carolinainas into the republican party of the ownership society of the current bush adminstration way of thinking an voting thank you

  • pbjbeach Nov 20, 2008

    If lawmakers were to make contractors in this state adhere to the ncdot state speceficiations when it comes to building of our new roadway structures then they wouldnt have to be constatnaly coming to the peoples trough looking for new funding for poorly built roads to begin with thank you

  • cdog Nov 20, 2008

    That is ridiculous!!!!!!

  • Beachnut Nov 20, 2008

    Please remember that YOU, the citizens of NC voted for this!

  • Bob3425 Nov 20, 2008

    Reduce labor cost my using prisioner out on the roads, let them have to pay for room and board while in prison. Make use of tolls road to repair a highway and then do away with the tolls once their paid. Make developer to paid funds when they build new sub-division.

  • workingforthosethatwont Nov 20, 2008

    I would like to see state and federal income tax abolished. Then raise the sales tax on everything. That way, everyone who spends money would pay in proportion to what they earn and spend. This program would apply to EVERYONE, illegals who aren't paying income tax also! If you buy something you pay...pretty simple.

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