Transportation director says gas tax collections are down

Jul 22, 2016

DOT Director Grant Levi testifies before the Legislature's interim Transportation Committee.
Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The state Director of Transportation says because of less miles traveled – and more fuel efficient cars – the amount of revenue generated by the state’s gas tax is down.

Grant Levi told the state Transportation Committee it’s dropped a lot just since 2015.

"In 2015, we were collecting $8.7 million per year for one cent og gas tax," Levi told the Committee.

North Dakota's total gas tax is 23 cents per gallon.

"We have dropped now, in 2016, to about $7.6 million per penny per year," Levi said. "We're projecting that we'll drop again in the next biennium to about $7.4 million per year, per penny."

That’s about a $69.2 million drop. Levi said the 4,05 percent allotment Gov. Jack Dalrymple ordered further reduced money for roads by about $26.6 million. But Levi told the committee bids and costs have come in lower than expected – and that’s helped this year’s construction season.

"The materials that we use for construction, especially any asphalt product, is at prices we haven't seen for many, many,many years," Levi said. "Good prices."

Levi said DOT is still working on its budget to present to the 2017 Legislature. But he told the Committee the construction season budget may drop from its current $580 million to $470 million, for 2017.