As in years past, transportation was again the prevailing theme on ballots in most every state. It was not only a time for states to take the temperature of the public on this critical issue but, also create new revenue streams and secure existing ones. Here’s what the election night returns said:
- Illinois and New Jersey become the 31st and 32nd states to vote to dedicate their fuel tax revenue to transportation projects. This is especially critical in New Jersey as they have voted to protect the additional revenue generated by the newly increased gas tax.
- Maine voters once again approved a transportation bond measure approved funding not only for the state’s roadways and bridges but, also airports, ports, rail and transit.
Two non-transportation ballot measure we followed also fared well following yesterday’s vote:
- In Alabama Statewide Amendment 2 passed with 80% of the vote. The Department of Conservation and National Resources will now be able to ensure revenue generated by state parks and deposited into the Parks Revolving Fund is allocated to support and maintain its properties.
- California voters were tasked with Proposition 53 a measure that would determine how the state funded infrastructure projects to be funded by state revenue bonds. ASCE urged a “no” vote on this measure as passage would have meant delaying funding any project requiring over $2 billion in bonds until approved by a ballot measure. This measure successfully failed with 51% of voters opposing the Proposition.
ASCE also tracked several local ballot measures around the country, which put an emphasis on public transit. These measures looked to generate revenue to expand public transit networks to help alleviate congestion in major metropolitan areas. Here’s how public transit fared on election night:
- Metro Atlanta overwhelmingly approved a sales tax increase to fund its public transit system, MARTA. The measure is expected to increase revenue by $2.5 billion over the next 40 years that will lead to system improvements and expansion.
- Meanwhile in Michigan the votes on increasing the millage rate to fund the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan was defeated. This measure required a majority of votes across Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and Washtenaw counties.
- There were several local measures in California all of which would aid public transit systems in major metropolitan areas. San Francisco successfully passed its funding measure while similar measures in San Luis Obispo, Sacramento and San Diego were defeated.
As you head out on your daily commute, whether behind the wheel or aboard local transit, consider these results prime examples of how you can contribute to infrastructure improvements with just a single vote.