nevada highway users coalition
June 10, 2010 - NHUC Newsletter: Transportation Credentials
Dear Highway User:

The Nevada primary elections were held earlier this week.

This gives each of us, as concerned highway users, an opportunity to review the “transportation credentials” of the candidates who will compete for legislative and congressional races this November. The internet has given us instant access to a candidate’s position on critical issues such as transportation and infrastructure funding.

Now is the time to take a closer look at what each candidate truly believes, going way beyond sound bites for the 6:00 o’clock news. A recent article by a well respected long term legislator suggested that the true character of a candidate for elective office could be determined best by asking you one simple question: “What is the single issue that you believe in so strongly that you would support it even though it was likely to assure that you would not be again elected to the office?”

As we all know, our country is in trouble. We have traded instant gratification for long term sensible and prudent fiscal responsibility. Our elected officials frequently opted for the path of least resistance when a more sensible approach would have called for belt tightening and long-term investment for our future.

It is our blessing that we have been fortunate enough to live in a free Republic that has the ability to respond to change. Sacrifices will be required, and at times, the road will be rough. Many of us who thought we were too busy to get involved found out the hard way that there may be severe consequences to not paying attention.

It has been said many times that leaders rise to the occasion. There has never been a time when government at every level needed to elect only the most thoughtful and forward thinking officials, whose top priority was to set politics aside and work to develop a vision and plan for our future.

Let’s be sure we each do our part by electing the most qualified elected officials in November.

The Nevada Highway User’s Coalition

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Major Nevada Road Improvements
Artist rendering of I-580 Galena Creek Bridge- 2012 completion
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Artist rendering of Hoover Dam Bypass Completion - End of 2010
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It’s Not the End of the Road
Your time, your money, the economy and the environment are all linked to Transportation: An issue that cannot be ignored.
Click here to read more.
Nevada Updates

Southern Nevada RTC Approves Spending Plan, Bond Package
The board of the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada has approved $594 million for the coming budget year. The spending plan goes toward operating the commission, its transportation services and servicing debt, while about $296 million goes to capital projects. Click here to read more.

The RTC board also approved a resolution asking the Clark County Board of Commissioners to issue $270 million worth of highway improvement revenue bonds. The bonds would be paid with a 1/8th-cent sales tax extended by the Legislature in SB-5 created during the recent special session of the Legislature. Ostensibly, a job-creation bill, SB5 not only acknowledged the economic underpinnings of the current fiscal crisis, but it may very well provide a road map for getting tens of thousands of construction workers, design professionals and tradesmen back to work. Click here to read more.

Then There Were Four or Five: Vegas to L.A. Train Competition Heats Up
The California to Nevada train competition has become a “cage-match” as the Maglev and Desert Xpress now have some company as two new companies have been touting party trains that promise to shuttle people from downtown Los Angeles to Las Vegas on existing track. They're fighting with each other over who came up with the idea first as they bid for railroad contracts. Previous party trains have died from lack of customers. Click here to read more.

But wait there’s another train that enters the fray. The Desert Lightening is the latest train to enter the competition to link Southern California and Southern Nevada. Click here to read more.

American Trucking Association to Visit National Judicial College This Month
The America's Road Team is returning to the National Judicial College to perform safety demonstrations during courses held on May 20 and June 22. The elite truck driving team will share expertise on highway safety with justices during the June 22 course, "Traffic Issues in the 21st Century." Click here to read more.

National Updates
Economic Recovery and Transportation Funding: Keeping the Momentum
The vast majority of Recovery Act funds will be exhausted later this summer. The Federal Highway Administration reports that $20.7 billion of highway funds provided under the Recovery Act has been used to finance projects that are either under construction or completed. Only $5.4 billion remains for highway projects for which funds have been obligated but on which work has not yet started. During March of this year — the most recent month for which statistics are available — the Recovery Act created or sustained 55,000 direct, on-project jobs, and total employment surpassed 140,000 jobs. And there is still no shortage of shovel ready projects. Click here to read more.

Climate Change Measure Hides Transportation Fund Diversion
Senator John Kerry ratcheted up the fight to pass legislation to combat global warming, but his climate bill diverts “a vast majority” of the money raised through the refiners' fees, according to major transportation groups. In the early years of implementation the bill would divert 77 percent of the transportation revenue, with that figure climbing as high as 91 percent in later years when the price of carbon has increased. For example, the first year of the refiners' fees, in 2013, would raise at least $19.5 billion, but no more than $6.25 billion would be devoted to transportation projects. Click here to read more and click here to read more.

Coalition Moves to Boost Pennsylvania’s Lagging Transportation Budget
A coalition that ranges from farmers and medics, to retirees and road builders has reconvened the Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition to collectively press for a way to close the $472 million hole in Pennsylvania’s transportation budget. The state’s Legislators have discussed several options such as raising the gas tax and charging a fee based on how many miles a vehicle travels. Click here to read more.

The Keystone State’s bridges earned a "C" and its roads a "D-" in the ASCE's 2010 report card, "Keystone in Crisis," released in late May. Click here to read more.

Michigan Transportation Funding Headed Toward “E”
If lawmakers don’t do something soon, Michigan will lose a truck-load of federal highway money, substandard roads will get worse through neglect, and drivers will run into still higher car repair bills. Click here to read more of this opinion piece.

A newly released study prepared by the East Lansing-based Anderson Economic Group (AEG) for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, concludes that Michigan will lose 12,000 jobs unless the state comes up with an additional $87 million for its match for $475 million in federal funds. Click here to read more.

Off Shore Oil Lease Moratorium Puts Brakes on Virginia Transportation Funding
Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, has repeatedly said that drilling off Virginia's coast would create thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue. He campaigned last year on paying for road improvements in part with proceeds from oil and gas drilling. McDonnell estimated that at $177 million each year. However, President Obama's announcement to halt offshore drilling plan in he wake of the Gulf oil spill disaster puts that plan in jeopardy. Click here to read more.

Restoring Political Credibility With Transportation Funding
Transportation and infrastructure spending is still highly sought after by the majority of Americans, but it’s the education, public sector, health care and military lobbies (and others) who have all the clout when it comes to the final budgetary appropriations. One writer says its nice to see more transportation funding with the Obama Administration, but if Transportation Secretary LaHood and the rest of the Administration won’t raise the gas tax to pay for transportation, then it needs to find other alternatives to fund the transportation/infrastructure that is the foundation of our economy, environment and quality of life…and which will pay for everything else. Click here to read more.

“Pod-Car” May be Transit of the Future
Officials from San Jose, CA are looking at small, curious-looking, driverless shuttles to move people. Rather than transporting large numbers of people on a train that stops frequently, the idea is to provide a nonstop ride on elevated rail lines for only one passenger, or up to six people, from the airport to nearby hotels, business centers and train stations. Click here to read more.

International Update
India’s Highways of Death
As new roads and highways are built in India, the rate of traffic fatalities remains the highest in the world at an estimated 320 people per day. What will happen as new roads are built and thousands of drivers are taking the wheel? Click here to view a short video to learn more.


What State has the highest highway motor fuel tax rates
(by fuel type)?
(cents per gallon)

Gasoline: West Virginia, 32.2
Diesel: Pennsylvania, 38.1
Liquefied Petroleum Gas: West Virginia, 32.2

FHWA- March 22, 2010

Gasoline: 23.0 same rate since 1992
Diesel: 27
Liquefied Petroleum Gas: 22

Nevada TAX FACTS, Nevada Taxpayers Association, 2009-2010 edition, pages 25 and 33.

nevada highway users coalition