Modernizing Transportation Funding in Idaho

August 02, 2010

Last week there was a Task Force meeting of legislators and private individuals in Idaho who have been appointed by Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter to develop recommendations for sustainable road and bridge funding. Last year the Governor commissioned a task force on Modernizing Transportation Funding in Idaho. The task force has been meeting on a bi-monthly basis this year with a goal of providing a recommendation to the Governor by the end of 2010. The hope is that their recommendation will be instituted at the state level to ensure a more consistent revenue stream that comes closer to meeting future transportation needs.

In their latest meeting this past week, they heard a presentation on the state of transportation funding at the national level given by David Hartgen from The Hartgen Group and Emeritus Professor of Transportation Studies at UNC Charlotte. Following David's presentation they discussed a summary of how the committee had ranked 19 different potential funding strategies. It was a good discussion and they decided to carry forward all funding options shown on the matrix with the exception of the three lowest ranking (toll roads, HOT lanes, and congestion pricing which were not viewed as viable in Idaho at this time). The next meeting will be held on August 31st where they will discuss the remaining options in more detail after hearing suggestions from the highway cost allocation sub-committee. A key move forward is the fact that they have included strategies for local option tax sources – something currently not possible to implement in Idaho due to state legislation.

View the slides from David Hartgen’s presentation as well as the matrix that shows all of the funding options the committee is considering. In the comment section below, please share examples of what state or local agencies are doing related to funding in your area. More to follow as these meetings continue.

This blog entry was submitted by Sonia Hennum, Associate Engineer and Office Manager with Kittelson & Associtaes, Inc. in Boise, Idaho.

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