Local elections to include transportation funding questions
August 16, 2021
Counties around the country this fall will across voters in local elections whether to authorize additional funding for transportation work.
Land Line tracks measures covering statewide, county and local ballot initiatives. Here is a breakdown of some notable initiatives on Nov. 2 ballots in Georgia, Iowa, Ohio, and Oklahoma.
Oconee County, Ga.
Voters in Oconee County, Ga., will vote this November on a transportation tax to cover improvements to local infrastructure.
The transportation sales tax referendum in the county located south of Athens would authorize a 1% tax solely for transportation purposes. The county now collects a 7% sales tax.
The Transportation Local Option Sales Tax could be used for purposes that include roads, bridges, public transit, and seaports.
At least 30% of sales tax revenue must be used for projects consistent with the state’s strategic transportation plan.
The five-year sales tax would begin next year.
According to the Georgia Department of Revenue, 96 of the state’s 159 counties have enacted a transportation sales tax.
Linn County, Iowa
The Nov. 2 ballot in Linn County, Iowa, will ask voters about extending a local option sales tax.
The county that includes the city of Cedar Rapids collects a 1% local option sales and services tax. The tax is scheduled to sunset in 2024.
Voters will decide whether to renew the tax starting July 1, 2024, for 10 more years.
Jurisdictions around the county will submit specific uses for the tax to be included on ballots.
Unincorporated areas of the county would continue to allocate 50% of funds for construction, maintenance and operation of secondary roads, farm to market roads and bridges. Another 25% would again be applied for property tax relief on property in affected areas. The rest of the funds would be used for conservation projects and programs administered by the Linn County Conservation Board.
Mahoning County, Ohio
Fall ballots in Mahoning County, Ohio, will include a question to benefit road and bridge work.
The question will ask voters whether to increase the county’s 7.25% sales tax by 0.25% to 7.5% for five years. The additional $45 million over five years would be used to pave roads and improve bridges throughout the county that includes the city of Youngstown.
Currently, county road work is funded solely by fuel tax revenue and license plate fees.
Bryan County, Okla.
Voters in Bryan County, Okla., will decide this fall whether to double the local sales tax for roads.
The county located in southeast Oklahoma north of Dallas now collects a half-cent sales tax.
A special election set for Oct. 12 will ask voters whether to approve a half-cent sales tax increase. LL
More election coverage
Keith Goble, state legislative editor for Land Line Media, keeps track of transportation ballot questions across the U.S. Here are some recent articles by him.