ROADS/BRIDGES: States, counties, cities vote on $250 billion in transportation initiatives

Voters are deciding on at least 232 road and bridge construction initiatives nationwide

November 08, 2016
road work sign

Besides choosing candidates today, voters nationwide will face at least 232 city, county and state ballot initiatives to decide whether to raise a potential $250 billion for road and bridge construction.

One of the smallest measures is a $5,308-a-year property-tax measure for road maintenance in Williamsburg, Colo. That is one of 11 proposals in Colorado.

California has the most at stake, with 26 initiatives worth more than a combined $140 billion over 40 years. Michigan has a slew of more than 50 proposals for property taxes among its villages, townships, cities and counties.

The local Michigan proposals come after 80% of voters rejected a statewide ballot measure in May 2015 to raise taxes $2 billion per year that would not have all been dedicated to road repairs. The legislature later adopted a $1.2 billion per year package for roads in November 2015.

This year's state and local initiatives come after Congress refused to increase the federal gas tax in December 2015, while approving a $305 billion highway bill spanning five years. The federal tax of 18.4 cents per gallon was set in 1993 and has not kept pace with construction demands because of inflation and more fuel-efficient cars.