North Carolina is unique when compared to many states – specifically our neighbors. Our department of transportation, NCDOT, maintains almost 80,000 miles of highway statewide. It is second only to Texas in terms of total center-line miles.
But what makes our state truly unique is the combination of the large number of miles NC maintains PLUS a centralized ownership/maintenance of our highways. Unlike most states which rely on a mix of local and state dollars, North Carolina almost exclusively uses state funds for maintenance, repair and expanding the transportation system.
Nearly 75% of total transportation funding in North Carolina comes from revenues generated by motor fuels taxes.
The move to vehicles with higher fuel efficiency – including hybrid and electric vehicles – is certainly a positive step in terms of our environment and the public’s health. However, higher federally-mandated fuel efficiency standards are expected to result in decreased fuel consumption levels – 96% by 2020 and 81% by 2035. This decreasing level of our state’s primary transportation revenue means we need to find a replacement for this crucial funding source within the next ten years.