Update: Voters Approved $33.35 Billion for Transportation on Election Day

Update: Voters Approved $33.35 Billion for Transportation on Election Day

November 09, 2018  | Alexander Laska

Updated December 10, 2018

Voters approved over $33 billion for transportation on Election Day and over $40 billion for transportation in total for 2018.

A few important caveats: the analysis on this page does not include several hundred routine local road millages that were considered in Michigan and Ohio. These measures tend to pass overwhelmingly and are not additive, thus they would skew the results of our analysis if we included them. What follows is analysis of the 185 ballot measures that were not local road millages.

Of the 140 measures voted upon on Election Day specifically, voters passed 100 of them, or 71.4%. Forty failed (28.6%).

Looking at 2018 as a whole, voters approved 142 transportation ballot measures, 76.8% of the 185 non-road millage measures that have appeared on ballots this year. Voters rejected 43 (23.2%).

When looking at the dollar amounts approved and rejected, the story is a bit different, though more money was approved than rejected both on Election Day and in total for 2018. Important note: for our analysis, when a tax change was permanent or the timeframe for a temporary change was not clear, we assumed a 20-year time horizon to calculate the total amount of revenue collected. Indeed, many of the measures approved on Election Day did have stated 20- or 30-year time horizons. Also, there are a few measures for which we are still determining how much money was approved or rejected, so these numbers will change and we will update this article as that happens.

On Election Day, voters approved $33.35 billion for transportation, 58.4% of the $57.11 billion that was considered. Two measures – sales tax increases in Broward County and Hillsborough County, FL – account for roughly three-quarters of that amount. Meanwhile, voters rejected $23.76 billion, or 41.6% of what was considered. Similarly, two measures – Colorado’s Prop 109 and Prop 110 – account for nearly 80% of the money rejected.

(Importantly, we are not including California’s Prop 6 in that amount, as there was no new money for transportation on the line, only repeal of fuel tax increases that already took effect. One study found that the state could have lost $100 billion in revenue if Prop 6 passed (it did not), which would skew our numbers greatly in one direction or the other.)

In total for 2018, $40.89 billion was approved for transportation, 57.9% of what has been considered this year. (A California regional traffic relief measure accounts for most of what was passed prior to November.) Voters have rejected $29.76 billion, 42.1% of what has been considered. Davidson County, TN’s failed transit expansion measure is the most notable pre-Election Day failure.

Now that the final ballot measure of the year – a sales tax increase in Baton Rouge to fund road improvements – has passed, Eno will publish its full analysis in the coming days. Check Transportation at the Ballot Box often to see the latest, and follow us on Twitter @EnoTrans to stay updated.

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