A new conversation about funding transportation
- August 27, 2020
- Posted by: Joe Milazzo II
- Category: Blog
This morning, the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce held its annual Transportation and Infrastructure summit. The virtual event was well-attended, and provided good perspectives on the state of the transportation industry.
The event also served as the backdrop for the NC Chamber’s new “Destination 2030” initiative, which is seeking to provide a new pathway for sustainable funding for transportation in North Carolina.
The study released several potential funding pathways to reduce the reliance on the motor fuels tax, including a road user charge of some sort (e.g., a vehicle miles traveled pilot), an increase in the highway use tax, and the dedication of a portion of the statewide sales tax. Each of these options is worthy of additional consideration and discussion.
The report also included a reference to RTA’s focus on an access fee-based approach — whereby users would pay a fee to access the state’s road network – as a potential part of a solution package. This approach would involve an increase to existing vehicle registration fees and a simultaneous reduction in motor fuel taxes. We have noted in the past that an access-fee based approach would not be completely new, as North Carolina already levies increased registration fees today for all electric vehicles in lieu of gas taxes. An access fee-based approach would simply apply this to all registered vehicles in the state.
The NC Chamber’s Destination 2030 initiative, and the ongoing NCDOT FIRST Commission study, are exactly the sort of conversations our growing state needs to stabilize and modernize funding for transportation and mobility.
The regional business community is pleased to support this vital effort, and RTA will remain engaged as discussions continue over the next several months.
Let’s get moving,
Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA Executive Director
RTA is the voice of the regional business community on transportation