February 8, 2013 – For each penny of gas or diesel tax, Michigan gets about $45 million for transportation funding needs that include roads. Both fuel and sales tax increases are being offered up in Lansing as ways to find more money to repair Michigan roads. Which is better, and how it affects the public, is a mixed bag. Gov. Rick Snyder has called for shifting Michigan’s per-gallon gasoline and diesel tax to a percentage tax at the wholesale level, increasing registration fees and allowing local registration fees. A penny of Michigan sales tax brings in about $1.1 billion to $1.3 billion.
Link to Full Article: http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/02/what_does_an_additional_penny.html
January 16, 2013 – New Jersey is urging investors to buy debt of municipalities hardest-hit by Hurricane Sandy, saying they remain a “sound investment option” because of strong state oversight. As many as 15 towns may lose 10 percent or more of their tax base, and another 10 could see a 5 percent to 10 percent decline, the state’s Local Government Services division said in a finance notice. Even so, it said those losses are mostly temporary as New Jersey rebuilds from the Oct. 29 storm that left parts of the coast uninhabitable and without power. The division encouraged all local government officials seeking to sell debt to share the notice “to obtain the best possible interest rates.”
Link to Full Article: http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/2013/01/nj_urges_investors_to_buy.html
January 11, 2013 – At least 200 projects are included in the draft border transportation master plan that officials said covers a binational region stretching from Presidio-Ojinaga to Santa Teresa-San Jeronimo. Included on the U.S. side of the plan are 48 road and interchange projects, three rail projects and 32 ports of entry projects. On the Mexican side of the border, the plan includes 80 road and interchange projects, seven rail projects and 30 ports of entry projects. Jolanda Prozzi, an expert with the Center for Transportation Research at the University of Texas in Austin, said the draft plan is the culmination of many organizations and agencies that have a stake in transportation matters as well as public input gleaned at previous meetings.
Link to Full Article: http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_22352289/road-rail-port-projects-us-part-border-plan
January 10, 2013 – Under pressure from complaints they were rushing a $3 billion street repair bond issue to the May 21 ballot, the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday pushed off the proposal for a week until a plan on public outreach can be developed. Two key groups of neighborhood council leaders – the Los Angeles Alliance of Neighborhood Councils and the Neighborhood Councils Budget Advocates – said they want 60 days to examine the proposal, which would have the effect of keeping it off this year’s ballot. In a presentation to the City Council, Nazario Sauceda, director of the Bureau of Street Services, said the problem of street repair has been escalating over the years as the city neglected maintenance from the 1950s through the 1990s.
Link to Full Article: http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_22343047/l-city-council-delays-vote-3b-street-repair
January 8, 2013 – Federal, state, city and port officials celebrated the groundbreaking Tuesday of a $1 billion project to replace the aging Gerald Desmond Bridge, considered the biggest bridge project in Southern California. Built in 1968, the Gerald Desmond Bridge links Terminal Island and the Long Beach (710) Freeway for the nation’s trade system, with nearly 15 percent of the nation’s waterborne cargo traveling on it. If the new bridge is renamed, it will likely be up to the state, which is contributing the most funding to the project with $500 million, Port of Long Beach (Aa2 / 542424RR9) officials said.
Link to Full Article: http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_22333647/ceremony-marks-start-work-gerald-desmond-bridge-replacement
January 8, 2013 – Gov. Robert F. McDonnell will unveil a plan Tuesday to pump at least $500 million a year into the state’s quickly draining transportation coffers. So far, the Republican governor has revealed where about half of that money would come from: the state’s general fund. He has said he wants to spend $48 million in general funds on transportation in 2014, ramping that up to $275 million a year by 2018. That part of the plan is sure to face opposition in the state Senate, which shot down a similar proposal last year, arguing that it would cheat schools and other programs that the fund bankrolls.
Link to Full Article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/va-politics/mcdonnell-to-unveil-road-funding-plan-that-calls-for-at-least-500m-annual-spending/2013/01/08/00e10430-598e-11e2-9fa9-5fbdc9530eb9_story.html
January 7, 2013 – A new commission formed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, charged with figuring out how New York should adapt in the long term to cope with worsening storms amid climate change and population growth, has recommended an extensive menu of programs. Its broad 175-page study says the state should consider storm barriers with movable gates that would span the Narrows, at a cost of tens of billions of dollars, and endorses a variety of “soft infrastructure” investments like building dunes and wetlands and oyster reefs, which were more prevalent along New York’s coastline in the 1800s.
Link to Full Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/07/nyregion/new-york-state-storm-panel-recommends-major-changes.html?_r=0