The purpose of this tool is to provide policy-makers and the public with an easy-to-use, objective web-based tool that summarizes current and past transportation funding and finance legislation enacted into law by all 50 state legislatures and the District of Columbia. This database is open-source and available to anyone. If you have suggestions for improving this tool or would like a copy of this data set, please contact Nick Norboge at [email protected].
Data & Methodology
TTI researchers began building this database using a legislative tool developed by National Conference of State Legislatures Transportation Funding Database and bill information gathered by the AASHTO Transportation Finance Clearinghouse; however, in addition to these databases, TTI researchers also conducted an independent effort to gather detailed bill information.
From the outset, it became apparent that building a database to include the universe of all transportation funding-related bills enacted into law would be overwhelming. Therefore, this database only includes enacted bills related to the funding and financing of highway infrastructure. Specifically, this database includes only enacted bills that provide new revenue streams or financing tools used to pay for acquiring rights-of-way, constructing, maintaining, or operating roadway infrastructure. Even among bills that deal only with highway-related funding and financing, the universe of enacted transportation finance legislation was significant. While every reasonable attempt was made to include as many of these bills as reasonable, given time and schedule constraints TTI researchers instead directed their efforts toward bills with the most impact. Specifically, researchers evaluated all highway-related funding bills and weighted them according to three criteria:
- Policy Change: Extent enacted bill imposed a change in the current state policy funding or financing structure. Bills that changed the state transportation funding structure significantly received a higher weight than bills that only made minor changes. Score: 1 – No Policy Change to 5 – Significant Policy Change; (1/3 of total score).
- Fiscal Impact: Estimated fiscal impact to the state and to local governments within that state. Many state legislatures have an organization charged with preparing a fiscal analysis while a bill is under consideration by lawmakers. In Texas, for example, the Legislative Budget Board prepares a fiscal note summarizing whether any fiscal implication to the state is anticipated. Fiscal notes were used to aid in the evaluation if they were available in that state. Bills that made a larger fiscal impact received a higher score. Score: 1 – No Fiscal Impact to 5 – Large Fiscal Impact; (1/3 of total score).
- Innovation: Extent of the number of innovative funding or financing features contained in the enacted bill. Bills that featured a new revenue stream or financing mechanism that is notably different from how states typically fund or finance transportation infrastructure received a higher score. Score: 1 – No Innovative Features to 5 – Several Innovative Features; (1/3 of total score).
Once a comprehensive list of bills was developed, researchers then categorized each bill according to funding strategy. Major funding strategies include the following:
- State Tax on Motor Fuels
- Transportation Revenue Capture
- Local Option Designation
- Vehicle-Related Taxes and Fees
- Alternative Fuels
- Public-Private Partnerships
Transportation Finance Legislation Enacted into Law
The table below provides a summary of major state transportation funding and financing legislation enacted into law from January 1, 2008 to August 1, 2016.