NC Legislative Update
by Lexi Arthur
Lawmakers Explore New Ways to Meet NC Transportation Needs
Last Monday, the House Select Committee on Strategic Transportation Planning and Long Term Funding Solutions met to explore new ways to meet the transportation needs of North Carolina as gas tax revenue declines.
The committee first heard presentations from the NC FIRST Commission. This commission is tasked with “evaluating North Carolina’s current and future transportation investment needs and advising the secretary of new or better ways to ensure that critical financial resources are available in the future.” To read more about the commission, click here. All of the presentations can be found here.
The committee also learned about a study developed by the NC Chamber Foundation as part of its Destination 2030 initiative. The study outlines the economic impact of infrastructure investment and explores funding mechanisms and implementation strategies. It found that existing gas taxes do not generate enough revenue to meet the transportation needs of North Carolina, and that diversifying revenue streams will be critical in the coming years.
Committee members spent the afternoon hearing ideas from the speakers about how to do that.
Ideas offered to House members included installing GPS devices in North Carolina resident’s vehicles that would track their miles on North Carolina roadways and issue a per-mile tax on the individual, charging drivers an amount based on the odometer reading during the state inspection against what it read last year, and raising the gas tax three times its current amount.
The committee did not make any decisions about how to increase revenues, and lawmakers want to know more about what would need to be done during the next session to make changes.
Destination 2030 – Get involved!
CRMCA is part of a broad-based coalition led by the NC Chamber called Destination 2030, which is tasked to modernize and diversify North Carolina’s transportation funding structure. Last Monday, The House Select Committee on Strategic Transportation Planning and Long Term Funding Solutions heard from the Coalition Chair, Jake Cashion. The presentation of the coalition’s study can be viewed here.
Last Wednesday, CRMCA participated in Destination 2030’s coalition call with over 20 other entities that are involved in the initiative. In total, over 70 businesses have joined this effort, and the number is growing. It’s important for you to engage with CRMCA and the coalition as we provide our industry’s perspective during the decision-making process. The coalition relies on a diverse range of businesses across the state to contribute ideas that will help steer our conversations with legislators in 2021, NC DOT, and policy decisions. The coalition will meet virtually once a month as we prepare for the 2021 legislative session, and will include discussions with leadership from the House, Senate, and NC DOT. We will continue to send updates about these meetings as the conversations continue, and if you’d like to tune in, please let us know.