Senate Proposal Would Cut, Freeze and Stabilize Motor Fuels Tax Revenue

Senate Proposal Would Cut, Freeze and Stabilize Motor Fuels Tax Revenue
Raleigh, NC, February 11, 2015 --( Today, the N.C. Senate released a proposal that takes an important first step to ensuring our roads and bridges remain safe and our transportation system remains stable.

This proposal would cut the current motor fuels tax rate by 2.5 cents per gallon from the current rate of 37.5 cents, freezing it at 35 cents per gallon starting March 1.

Without this proposal North Carolinians could see a 6 to 8 cents drop in the gas tax on July 1. The decrease could result in nearly $400 million lost in funding for North Carolina's roads and bridges every year.

“We cannot afford to risk the safety of our citizens by allowing the motor fuels tax rate to fall to a level that jeopardizes our ability to maintain and repair our bridges and roads,” said Neil Deans, PE, President of Professional Engineers of NC. “Engineers consider it our responsibility, our obligation, to safeguard the state’s vital infrastructure. This is the right step to take while also offering a tax break for the traveling public.”

Currently North Carolina's gas tax makes up about 70 percent of funds to maintain roads and bridges, and approximately 60 percent of the state Department of Transportation's budget.

After Texas, North Carolina's state-maintained transportation system is the second largest in the nation. Many other states use their local governments to maintain their roadways, which is often funded through higher property taxes. North Carolina has some of the lowest property tax rates in the country.

The proposal to drop and freeze North Carolina's gas tax has been approved by both the Senate Finance and Appropriations committees today, and is expected to be heard on the floor on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Professional Engineers of NC believe this to be an important first step that stabilizes funding for our transportation system. However, it does not relieve us of the obligation to advance long-term funding reforms to meet the future needs of a growing state.

About Professional Engineers of North Carolina
Professional Engineers of North Carolina (PENC) is a professional association of over 12 00 individuals including Professional Engineers, engineering interns, engineering graduates and engineering students. PENC has nine local chapters plus student chapters. PENC is a state society member of the National Society of Professional Engineers. Members represent all technical disciplines and all practice areas including construction, education, industry, government, and private practice. The mission of PENC is to promote ethical, competent, and licensed engineering and to enhance the professional, social, and economic well-being of its members.
Professional Engineers of NC
Betsy Bailey