TaxWatch Staff
/ Categories: Research, Transportation

Meeting Florida's Transportation Investment Needs

Florida continues to grow and is now the nation’s third largest state. After a slowdown during the Great Recession, Florida is on the rise again, and the state will add more than four million new residents by 2030. This growth and the economic expansion that will come with it will further strain Florida’s already over- burdened transportation system, as Florida will be moving more people and goods through its network of highways, railways, seaports, airports and space ports. Meeting these challenges will require investment in the transportation infrastructure to keep our economy flowing, maintain Floridians’ quality of life and safety, and continue to make the state an attractive tourist destination.

  • Transportation funding provides a myriad of benefits. An improved system to save motorist time and money by reducing congestion, gas consumption and wear and tear on vehicles, as well as improving safety. Increased transportation spending itself creates jobs and has a large return on investment, as much as $5.60 for each dollar spent.
  • Over the next 25 years, the state is facing a $161 billion shortfall between projected revenues and estimated transportation needs.
  • The per capita spending on roads by Florida’s state and local governments ranks 41st among the 50 states.
  • Florida has not had a major state transportation funding increase since 1990 and the gas tax is proving to be an inadequate source to meet the state’s future transportation challenges.
  • Improving fuel efficiency could further reduce state gas tax collections by $3.3 billion below current estimates by 2025.
  • Other states are addressing their transportation needs – 24 states have increased funding since 2012.

It is clear that Florida’s current transportation funding system is inadequate to create and maintain a high- quality system. Florida needs to begin seriously planning for its transportation funding future now.

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