More than 10 million people call North Carolina home – a number that is expected to jump to 12 million by 2030. As North Carolina prepares to become the seventh most populous state in the nation, the NC Chamber remains focused on executing priorities that will bring North Carolina Vision 2030, our long-term plan to accelerate job growth and secure North Carolina’s future, to fruition. One such priority is ensuring North Carolina’s transportation and infrastructure systems are provided the necessary resources for critical improvements to accommodate the state’s rapid growth, all the while diversifying revenue sources.
Today, the NC Chamber joined TRIP, a national transportation research group, to unveil the organization’s latest report on the state of North Carolina’s transportation system. You can see portions of our press conference here. The report, Keeping North Carolina Mobile: Progress and Challenges in Providing an Efficient, Safe and Well-Maintained Transportation System, examines North Carolina’s road and bridge conditions, travel trends, economic development, highway safety and transportation funding. In recent years, North Carolina’s leaders have made great strides in long-term transportation funding reform. However, over the next decade, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) will only have funds available for 17 percent of the needed transportation projects. North Carolina’s transportation funding relies heavily on the motor fuels tax, also known as the gas tax. The fluctuation in this tax makes funding for transportation infrastructure volatile and unsustainable, which is why continuing to place such a heavy emphasis on the gas tax will prevent North Carolina from meeting demand in the not-too-distant future. While our state’s leaders are starting to recognize this fact, this report illustrates that more must be done to diversify revenues in order to attract and retain investment.
North Carolina’s competitive future hinges on the state’s ability to implement and execute a transportation improvement plan focused on long-term certainty and consistency but that cannot happen without the appropriate funding. In order for North Carolina to remain competitive, not just with neighboring states but also in the global marketplace, it is imperative that our leaders prioritize the critical elements of a transportation infrastructure plan and subsequently maintain, build, execute and fund that plan. Now is the time for our state’s leaders to capitalize on their positive momentum and build upon their efforts to diversify revenues, securing the future of North Carolina’s transportation network.
Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber