The 2018 Election Results on Public Construction Funding
The Nov. 6 election saw record voter turnouts across the country, making history in gubernatorial and Congressional elections. Results flooded in, changing the balance of power in the House of Representatives and shaking up statewide legislation. The construction industry saw changes too, primarily in terms of funding public projects. Several states voted to: use gas taxes to fund projects, fund water systems projects, fund new transportation construction efforts and more. Some of the biggest changes to construction funding came out of Florida, New Jersey, California, Missouri and Colorado.
Two counties in Florida—Broward and Hillsborough Counties—voted to pay more for transportation and infrastructure. Broward County voters passed a 30-year tax increase that will fund a new bus service, begin construction of bike lanes and build road drainage projects in flood-prone areas. Other transportation-focused construction initiatives will also receive funds. Hillsborough County voted to increase county sales tax by 1% to pay for road improvements.
New Jersey voted to borrow $500 million to improve water systems in public schools and increase funding for K-12 security measures. Other projects include funding vocational schools and expanding educational efforts outside of the construction sphere.
California voted "no" on Proposition 6, meaning the state will continue to fund public construction projects through fuel taxes. These taxes are part of an effort to fund a $52 billion state infrastructure initiative.
Unlike Florida, New Jersey and California, Missouri and Colorado voted against funding public construction projects.
Missouri voters rejected Proposition D, meaning the state's fuel tax will not be increasing by 10 cents per gallon. The funding would have been used for road and bridge construction. This result does not come as a surprise to most voters as the most recent gas tax for construction funding in Missouri was passed more than 20 years ago.
Colorado rejected not one but two proposals—Propositions 109 and 110—to fund public projects to "Fix Our Damn Roads" and increase taxes by 0.62% to fund $6 billion for multimodal projects, upgrades to roads, bridges and highways.
—Christie Citranglo, editorial associate