Voters weigh in on transportation issues

November 7, 2018

Keith Goble


During the Nov. 6 election voters in more than a dozen states had their say on various transportation issues with billions of dollars at stake. Land Line tracked measures covering statewide, county and local ballot initiatives. Here is a state-by-state breakdown of how some notable initiatives fared on ballots.


Proposition 463: Pima County
To authorize the issuance and selling of $430 million in general obligation bonds for regional road repair. The bonds would be repaid with property taxes. Municipalities that include Tucson will receive about 64 percent of the funding. The county would collect the rest.


Proposition 6: Statewide
Whether to keep vehicle tax and fee increases imposed a year ago. All tax and fee rates are also indexed to inflation to allow for increases in future years. In addition, the state’s Constitution would be amended to prevent any future increases without a statewide vote.

Proposition 7: Statewide
Authorize the Legislature to take action to stay on daylight saving time all year. Passage at the statehouse would require two-thirds support in both chambers. The governor also must endorse the change. If the above steps are taken federal authorization would be the final phase necessary to make the change.

Measure I: Kern County
Would authorize a one-cent sales tax on retail sales in unincorporated areas of the county to fund general county services that include roads. The tax is estimated to raise $35 million annually.

Measure O: Humboldt County
Whether to renew an existing one-half cent sales tax to continue to collect the tax to fund general county purposes that include repairing deteriorating roads. The tax is estimated to raise $12 million annually until ended by voters.

Measure AA: Marin County
To renew a half-cent sales tax to fund $27 million annually for roads and transit. The ballot question specifies that tax revenue would be used to “relieve traffic congestion on Highway 101 and local roads; fix potholes/maintain local roads; improve interchanges/access to/from Highway 101; … and provide local transit.”

Measure G: San Benito County
Would authorize the county to increase the 7.25-cent sales tax by 1 cent to repair potholes and maintain roads; widen Highway 25 to relieve traffic congestion; improve pedestrian, bicycle, and transit options; and qualify for state and federal matching funds. The tax would raise an estimated $16 million annually over 30 years.

Measure W: San Mateo County
Whether to enact a one-half cent sales tax to reduce highway congestion, repair potholes, maintain streets, reduce local traffic, improve pedestrian safety in every San Mateo County city, reduce travel times/vehicle trips, and implement the San Mateo County Congestion Relief Plan.

Measure G: Santa Cruz County
To raise the sales tax by one-half cent to 9 percent for 12 years in the unincorporated area of the county for general city purposes that include local street repairs. The tax is estimated to raise $5.75 million annually.

Measure X: Township of Bolinas
An advisory question about whether to advise Marin County officials to prohibit overnight parking for large trucks in certain areas of the unincorporated township.

Measure T: City of San Jose
Whether to issue up to $650 million in general obligation bonds for public safety and infrastructure work that would include roads. Specifically, roads would claim at least $300 million.


Amendment 1: Statewide
Whether to amend the state’s constitution to create a “lockbox” for transportation revenue. Passage would prohibit the state legislature from spending money in the special transportation fund on non-transportation purposes.


Proposition 109: Statewide
Whether to issue up to $3.5 billion in bonds to fund 66 road and bridge projects. Money could not be spent on mass transit projects.

Proposition 110: Statewide
To increase the state’s sales tax by 0.62 percent to 3.52 percent for 20 years. Nearly half of the estimated $767 million annual tax revenue would be dedicated to transportation work, including multimodal projects. Another 40 percent would be earmarked for direct distributions to local governments for their own transportation projects. The remaining 15 percent would be used for multimodal transportation work.


Amendment 5: Statewide
Would require a two-thirds vote of legislators in both statehouse chambers to enact new taxes or increase existing tax rates. State law now mandates a simple majority.
The rule would be applied to taxes that include sales, fuel, alcohol, and driver’s licenses. The requirement would not be applied to fees or taxes collected by a county, municipality, school board, or special district.

Referendum 1: Broward County
Whether to raise the county sales tax by 1 percent for transportation improvements. An estimated $16 billion in revenue over 30 years would be used for improvements to “reduce traffic congestion, improve roads and bridges, enhance traffic signal synchronization” and transit and other projects.

Question 1: Collier County
To raise the local sales tax by one cent for seven years. Exempt purchases would include fuel sales. Through 2025, an estimated $191 million would be set aside for transportation projects that include improvements to key roadways and bridges.

Referendum 2: Hillsborough County
Whether to raise the local sales tax by one cent for better roads and bridges, and other improvements. About 55 percent of new revenue over three decades would be applied for road work. The remaining funds would be used to pay for new and enhanced transit options.

Amendment 14: St. Lucie County
Would raise the local sales tax by one-half percent over the next 10 years. Exempt purchases would include the fuel tax. Revenue would be used to help with infrastructure projects that include roads that total about $1.2 billion. The county and each municipality have prepared a specific list of improvements.


Question 1: Baldwin County
Whether to approve a five-year, 1-cent special tax for local transportation projects. The county would receive 65 percent, or about $22.7 million, in revenue.

Question 1: Carroll County
Would authorize a five-year, 1-cent special tax for local road and bridge work. The tax would raise $16.5 million annually.

Question 1: Habersham County
Whether to approve a five-year, 1-cent special tax for local roads and bridges. The tax would raise $7.1 million annually.

Referendum 1: Lee County
To approve a five-year, 1-cent special tax for local transportation projects. The tax would raise about $3.4 million annually.


Advisory Referendum: DuPage County
Whether the county should oppose the creation of a statewide vehicle-mileage tax. The tax could be applied to county citizens based upon the number of miles driven annually, either at a fixed rate or with a flat fee.

Referendum: Peoria County
To authorize the county to increase the local sales tax by one-half percent for up to 12 years. The estimated $6.8 million in annual revenue would pay for road improvements and other transportation purposes.


Amendment 4: Statewide
Whether to amend the state Constitution to end the dedication of revenue from the Transportation Trust Fund to state police for traffic control.

Question 1: Iberia Parish
Whether to create a 10-year, three-fourth-cent sales tax. An estimated $3.4 million in annual tax revenue would be dedicated to road construction, improvement, and maintenance in unincorporated parts of the county.


Question 3: Statewide
To approve a plan to fund $106 million for transportation purposes. Passage would result in $80 million in general obligation bonds for construction and maintenance of highways and bridges. The state’s ports, harbors, transit and freight rail would receive nearly $20 million.


Question K: Baltimore County
To borrow $68.3 million for public works purposes that include streets and highways, bridges and storm drainage systems.


Proposal 1
Whether to legalize recreational marijuana use and subject sales to a 10 percent excise tax, in addition to the state’s 6 percent sales tax. An estimated $135 million in annual revenue would be dedicated to local governments, education, and road and bridge repairs.


Proposition D: Statewide
Would increase the state’s 17-cent-per-gallon fuel tax by a dime to 27 cents. Approval would also authorize the creation of the Emergency State Freight Bottleneck Fund. The fund would be used to address traffic problems that affect the movement of freight. The tax is estimated to eventually raise $293 million annually for DOT-operated roads and $128 million for local roads.

New Mexico

Question 2: Grant County
Authorize use of general obligation bonds up to $4 million for purposes that include construction or repair of public roads.

North Dakota

Measure 1: City of Bismarck
To implement a one-half cent sales tax for arterial street construction and reconstruction. The tax is estimated to raise $77.5 million over 10 years.


Measure 104: Statewide
A constitutional amendment that would require a three-fifths supermajority for legislation to make changes in taxes and fees. Specifically, the changes to tax expenditures would apply to exemptions, credits and deductions. In addition, tax and fee creation or increases must also have supermajority approval.

South Carolina

Question 1A: Beaufort County
Whether a one-cent transportation sales and use tax should be imposed for up to four years or until a total of $120 million in revenue is collected, whichever comes first. A specific list of projects that would benefit are included with the ballot question.


Proposition A: Collin County
Would authorize the issuance of up to $600 million in bonds to pay for “for constructing, improving and maintaining not-tolled, high-speed highways and freeways.” Service and frontage roads associated with a highway would also get attention. Projects expected to be funded include U.S. 380, U.S. 78, and a north-south corridor.

Proposition B: Collin County
Whether to authorize the county to issue up to $140 million in bonds to pay for arterial roads and bridges. Cities would be required to match funds provided by the county. The amount typically equates to a 50 percent funding match.

Proposition G: City of Austin
Authorize the city to issue up to $160 million in bonds for the planning, construction, reconstruction, and improvement of roads, intersections, bridges, and urban trails. Street reconstruction would receive the biggest chunk at $66.5 million. About $4.5 million would be designated for upgrades and installation of new signals and technology.


Opinion Question 1: Statewide
The nonbinding question will get voters’ opinion about putting money ordinarily reserved for road use instead towards education. Specifically, fuel tax revenue would be used to help cover costs to increase salaries for teachers and support staff. A portion of new revenues would also be applied to local roads.


Question 1: Loudoun County
Would authorize use of $152 million in general obligation bonds over 10 years for a specific list of road projects included on the ballot.


Initiative 1631: Statewide
Whether to impose a fee on carbon content of fossil fuels sold or used in the state and electricity generated or imported into the state. The carbon fee would start at $15 a metric ton of carbon. It is estimated the levy would add about 14 cents to each gallon of fuel.