Voters approve record 89% of transportation investment ballot measures

The 270 approved initiatives are expected to generate over $9.6 billion in one-time and recurring revenue

November 07, 2019
Transportation funding ballot measures

Voters in 19 states on Nov. 5 approved around 89% of 305 state and local transportation ballot measures.

In total, the 270 approved initiatives are expected to generate over $9.6 billion in one-time and recurring revenue, according to the analysis conducted by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s Transportation Investment Advocacy Center (ARTBA-TIAC). 

The preliminary results reaffirm a decade-long trend of voters strongly supporting investments to maintain and improve their state or local transportation networks. Voters have approved 81% of nearly 2,000 transportation investment ballot measures tracked by ARTBA-TIAC since 2010, including this year’s results. 

“Public support for increasing infrastructure investment continues to help local governments and the transportation construction community improve safety, mobility, and overall quality of life for residents as projects get underway,” Carolyn Kramer, ARTBA-TIAC director, said in a statement.

Voters in Maine overwhelmingly approved, by a 76% to 24% margin, a $105 million bond measure to support transportation infrastructure projects. The vote was Maine’s seventh successful transportation bond in eight years. 

While transportation investment fared well nationwide, Washington state voters endorsed by a 56% to 44% margin a measure that reduces or repeals certain motor vehicle taxes and fees and removes the authority to impose certain new fees without their approval. This decision will cost the state nearly $4.3 billion in state and local transportation revenue over the next six years.  

Voters in Colorado rejected by a 55% to 45% vote a measure that would have permitted the state to retain excess tax collections in order to fund education and transportation.

The 305 measures tracked by ARTBA-TIAC is the largest number ever for an odd-numbered, off-year election. Although historically most transportation measures are put on the ballot in even-numbered years when congressional or presidential elections drive higher turnout, an increasing number of measures are being considered by voters during odd-numbered years and primary elections.

The approved measures will support $7.7 billion in new transportation investment revenue and $1.9 billion in continued funding through tax extensions, renewals or protections.

A complete breakdown of the results can be found on the ARTBA-TIAC website.