Localities Ask Voters to Invest in Infrastructure


Over the past few weeks we’ve shared information about key infrastructure measures that will appear on a handful of statewide ballots. Now it’s time to look even closer to home at key questions that will be asked at the local level.

Transportation funding, transit in particular, is a common ballot question this fall in major cities and metropolitan regions from coast to coast. This year’s election will see nearly twice as many transportation related measures as 2014.

In fact, so far this year 55 transportation funding measures have been considered in primary elections and 50 of them have successfully been approved. Those measures already passed are expected to generate $4.258 billion in new revenue for those cities and counties.  You can read about these and the votes coming up on November 8 in the September State Funding Initiatives Report issued by the Transportation Investment Advocacy Center.

Among these ASCE is following these local transportation questions:

  • Residents of the City of Atlanta and Fulton County, Georgia will see a question on their ballot asking them to approve additional funding for its public transit system, MARTA. Just a half-penny sales tax increase would be imposed if the ballot measure passes. It is expected to increase revenue by $2.5 billion over the next 40 years.
  • Counties serviced by the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan approved language for a proposition, if passed, is estimated to raise $4.7 billion over 20-years for the RTA. The 1.2-mill property tax ($1.20 per $1,000 of taxable value) requires most votes across Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and Washtenaw counties.
  • From Sacramento to San Diego, several cities and counties in California are considering a tax increases to fund maintenance and improvements in public transit. Combined these measures are estimated to generate $144 billion in new revenue.

One non-transportation measures we’re following this fall will appear on the ballot in the City of New Orleans:

  • New Orleans voters will be asked to extend the 4.46-mill property tax ($4.46 per $1,000 of taxable value) that supports the maintenance and operation of the city’s drainage system. The system currently relies exclusively on the millage tax for its funding. If passed, the tax will remain in place for an additional 30 years and is estimated to continue to supply about 28% of the budget, or $15 million annually.  This year’s vote represents one of three that will be put before voters in upcoming election cycles.

November is a time to focus public officials’ attention on the infrastructure needs in your backyard by casting your vote. Be sure to head to the polls November 8 and make your voice heard!

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