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  • HB 170: Transportation Funding Act of 2015


    Talking Points:
     

    Financial Need

    • Georgia ranks 49th in per-capita transportation spending.
    • The bi-partisan 2014 Joint Legislative Study Committee on Critical Infrastructure Funding determined that Georgia’s annual need for additional transportation resources are:
      >> $1.0-1.5 billion to simply preserve our existing infrastructure;
      >> $2.1-2.9 billion to increase our interstate capacity, interchanges and transit        systems;
      >> $3.9-5.4 billion to fully address the transportation needs in this state.
    • According to the Reason Foundation, GDOT spends $13,092 per mile on roadway maintenance. In contrast, our neighboring state of Florida spends an average of $30,376.
    • Georgia’s state gas taxes (7.5 cent per gallon excise tax and 4% sales tax) are among the lowest in the nation.
      >> This does not include local sales taxes on motor fuel, which generate more than $517 million dollars per year…dollars that are currently not restricted to only being spent for transportation purposes.
      >> HB 170 restores the “user fee” concept to motor fuel taxes, by ensuring that all motor fuel taxes in Georgia are spent only on transportation purposes going forward.  
       

    System Impact

    • GDOT's 2014 budget restricted resurfacing to a meager 2% of the state’s road network. Continuing at this funding level would result in an average 50-year cycle for road maintenance.
    • Over 17% of Georgia's bridges are currently rated as “structurally deficient” or “functionally obsolete.” An average of 9.4 bridges per Georgia county are posted with safety weight notices. (SOURCE: National Bridge Inventory  Database, 2012).
    • Projects that would create new capacity are starved of funding, as most of GDOT’s budget has to go to maintenance & operations and debt service (GDOT is the only state agency that services its own debt, rather than the state taking on this obligation).
       

    Ending our Dangerous Dependence on Federal Funding 

    • More than 55% of GDOT’s entire budget comes from Federal funds.
    • More than 62% of GDOT’s construction budget comes from Federal funds.
    • Creating $1.5 billion annually in additional funds would reduce Georgia’s dependence on the Federal government from 55% Federal to only 32% from Federal funds.
    • This is critical considering the uncertainty of the Federal Highway Trust Fund.
    • Georgia dollars spend further and faster than Federal dollars, due to federal permitting bureaucracy and regulations like NEPA and Davis-Bacon, which increase the time and cost of building roads.
       

    Return on Investment

    • An HNTB economic study found that for each $1 spent on transportation infrastructure, an economic return-on-investment of $4.00-$7.80 can be expected.
       

    Efficiency/Effectiveness of Georgia DOT

    • Despite cutting its workforce in half over the last 15 years, Georgia’s Department of Transportation is consistently ranked one of the top departments of transportation in the United States.
    • #7 top performing DOT in the country for being on time and on budget according to the Research and Innovative Technology Administration of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
       

    Transportation Infrastructure = Jobs & Economic Development

    • This is about Georgia’s ability to remain competitive as surrounding states make significant investments in their transportation infrastructure, and to continue to attract and retain high wage jobs.
    • Georgia’s transportation infrastructure is one of the factors that has allowed our state to build a global economy, attract Fortune 500 companies, and share Georgia-grown and Georgia-manufactured products with the world.
    • But if a business can’t get its products or its employees safely, efficiently and predictably from point A to point B, they will start to look elsewhere.
    • It’s about being a place people want to live and businesses want to locate and invest.
    • It’s about connecting rural communities to markets, to the Interstate Highway System, the Port of Savannah and the Atlanta Airport.
    • It’s about reducing congestion in Metro Atlanta, so that commutes are more reasonable and predictable, so that the costs of lost productivity due to traffic are reduced, and quality of life is increased.