At the direction of the General Assembly, the North Carolina Board of Transportation studied how fees, sponsorship and privatization might be used to reduce the use of public funds for services provided by the Department of Transportation.
To carry out duties assigned under the 2014 Budget Bill (Section 34.17(a)), the board received information and discussed opportunities during a joint committee meeting in October and continued to review additional information provided by NCDOT staff. At its monthly meeting this morning, the Board unanimously approved the draft study. The approval was needed so the Department can submit the study recommendations to the Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee and the Fiscal Research Division no later than December 1. The Board did not vote on approving any specific fees.
Recommendations include new sponsorship opportunities for highway litter removal and rest areas, implementing or increasing some fees for current NCDOT services including traffic analysis and inspections, and some additional costs for outdoor advertising. In many cases NCDOT currently does not collect enough in fees to cover services, and additional funds could be used to help build and maintain the state’s transportation network. A copy of the sponsorship report and a summary of the fees can be found on the NCDOT website.
The recommendations are expected to serve as a basis for policy deliberations by the General Assembly concerning the balance between public funding of infrastructure and user fee based service provision.