By Steve Jackson
North Carolina’s transportation budget is in crisis. Massive increases in road-construction costs over the last five years have precipitated a comprehensive re-examination of transportation revenues and expenditures in the state.
Costs have risen by well over 40% in the last four years and are outstripping growth in revenue designated for transportation. For example, the fastest growing source of transportation revenue, the motor fuel tax or “gas tax,” grew about 20% less than the construction inflation rate between 2003 and 2006. Other sources, such as vehicle registrations and the Highway Use tax grew by under 10%, or less than one-quarter as fast as construction costs.
This report offers recommendations on revenue, on expenditure priorities, and on how expenditure priorities are determined.