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3NorthCarolinaisuniquewhencomparedtomanystatesspecicallyourneighbors.OurdepartmentoftransportaonNCDOTmaintainsalmost80000milesofhighwaystatewide.ItissecondonlytoTexasintermsoftotalcenter-linemiles.ButwhatmakesourstatetrulyuniqueisthecombinaonofthelargenumberofmilesNCmaintainsPLUSacentralizedownershipmaintenanceofourhighways.NearlyacenturyagoNorthCarolinaoptedtoretainownershipofitshighwaysandmaintainwithstatefunds-unlikemoststateswhichrelyonamixoflocalandstatedollars.SoyoudontcrossfromoneNCcountytoanotherandexperienceadramacchangeinroadqualitysafetymarkingsorsignage.Butthisscenariorequiresastatewidenotlocalrevenuestream.EntertheMotorFuelsTaxorthegastax.Begunintheearly1920sNorthCarolinasgastaxhasremainedthemajorsourceoftransportaonfundinginourstate.Originally1centgallonitiscurrently37.5centsgallonbasedonavariablerate.Thatrateis17.5centspergallonplus7percentoftheaveragewholesaleprice.Thevariableratewasputinplacetoaddressuctuaonsinconsumponduetopricing.Thehigherthewholesalepricethelessthepublicconsumedthereforeahighervariablecomponentofthetaxwasleviedtokeeprevenuesomewhatneutral.Whenthepricefellandconsumponincreasedthetaxdropped.Foryearsthissystemworkedneasmostvehicleshadsimilarfueleciencyrates.Weallpaidaboutthesameintaxesfordrivingourshareoftheroad.Howevergasshortagesinthe1970sshiedinterestawayfromavehiclespowerandsizetofueleciency.Slltheimpactoffueleciencyhasonlybecomeabundantlyclearinrecentyearsasocialstandardsforimprovedfueleciencyhavebecomeformalized.In2011PresidentObamaannouncedanagreementwiththirteenlargeautomakerswhichaccountformorethan90percentofallvehiclessoldintheU.S.toincreasefueleconomyto54.5milespergallonforcarsandlight-dutytrucksby2025.Thatrepresentsa5percentincreaseinfueleciencyperyearstarngin2012.Thatincreaseinfueleciencymeanswellallbebuyinglessgas.Increasedfueleciencyisgoodgoodfortheenvironmentandfordrivers.Butbuyinglessgasalsomeanspayinglessingastaxandnowthefutureofourstatesmostimportanttransportaonsourcehasbecomestarklyclear.NCDOTprojectsmotorfueltaxrevenuestoincreaseslightlyunl2018thendecreaseunlabout2028andremainatunl2040.Inthefaceofagrowingpopulaonandrisingcoststobuildandmaintaintransportaoninfrastructureourgastaxwillonlyyieldabout33.9billionfrom2011-2040.StarngPointTheRealityofTransportaoninNCNCDOT2040PlanNCDOT2040Plan