Senator Jim Beall, chairman of the Transportation Committee has put forth a plan to restore the state’s crumbling roads and bridges.
Under Senate Bill 16, everyone who uses the roads will share in paying for the cost of essential repairs. The bill is projected to raise $3 billion or more annually over its five-year life, which allows time for the state to work out a long-term funding solution.
The bill proposes to take the truck weight fee, which raises about $1 billion a year, from the general fund and return it to its intended purpose: mitigating the damage to roads caused by heavy commercial trucks. The per gallon excise fuel tax would be increased by 10 cents to make up for the decline in value lost to inflation. The vehicle license fee would be increased by 0.07 percent annually over five years. The vehicle registration fee would be increased by $35. Zero-emission vehicles would be subject to an annual $100 fee.
The bill also guarantees that the revenue will be used exclusively for road, street, bridge repairs, and improving freight mobility at ports.
Besides funding repairs for state roads, the bill also sets aside money for counties and cities to each get a share for local street and road repairs.
Read more about Senator Beall’s proposal here.