State Revenue Sources that Fund Bicycling and Walking Projects

How can my state pay for biking and walking projects? Biking and walking dollars aren't only available from the federal government. States can also have their own revenue sources that can be used to fund active transportation. Use this tool to find what revenue sources can pay for biking and walking projects in your state.

This list of state revenue sources that fund bicycling and walking projects came from two major sources: The League of American Bicyclists and State Smart Transportation Initiative (SSTI).

Most of the revenue source definitions were provided by SSTI's State and Local Transportation Revenue Sources survey, while the League's Bicycle Friendly State program contributes self-reported state information and examples. Where relevant, campaign plans from Advocacy Advance Rapid Response Grantees are also included.

Use the below interactive tool to start discovering what kind of revenue sources exist for your state, or download the PDF version of this resource.

Note: Not all types of revenue sources have a state example. If you know of additional state revenue sources or states not listed, please contact us at info@advocacyadvance.org.

 

 

BEST PRACTICES: States with Dedicated Sources of Funding

Some states have dedicated state revenue that fund bicycling and walking projects. These dedicated sources of funding are created via state statutes passed by state legislators. Legislators can have an important role to ensure bicycling and walking projects have access to a dedicated state fund. Click here to read more about these best practices.

 

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Browse by Revenue Type

Alternative fuel tax | Bicycle registrationBicycle user feeBond proceeds | Development impact feesDrivers license fees | Gambling (not including lottery) | General fund | Highway safety fees | Highway use tax | Land value tax | License plates | Local planning assistance grants | Lottery revenue | Naming rights | Public private partnerships | Real estate recordation tax | School zone speeding fines | Severance fees | State fuel (gas) tax | Title fees | Toll credits | Toll roads | Traffic violations | Vehicle and truck tax | Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) fee | Vehicle registration fees | Vehicle transfer fees

 

State Revenue Sources that Fund Bicycling and Walking Projects

Alternative fuel tax

Description: Demand for gasoline has trended downward in recent years as consumers transitioned to alternative fuel, more fuel-efficient vehicles, or reduced their vehicle miles traveled. These changes have negatively impacted the revenues states have traditionally received from their primary transportation revenue source, the motor fuel tax. This drop in motor fuel tax revenue has led some states to explore other user-fee revenue options that would capture some of the lost motor fuel tax revenue.

State(s): Eligible source for bike/ped funding, but no known examples.

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Bicycle registration

Note: This type of state revenue source is not recommended.

Description: States and municipalities across the country have begun to look into charging bike registration fees in an effort to introduce another revenue stream and recoup some of the expenses associated with bike infrastructure. Governments enforce such a policy by requiring that all bicycles operating within a certain state or municipality be properly registered within the municipality.

State(s): Hawaii

Statute(s): Hawaii §249-14; 14.3; 15-17; 17.5 (link)

Example(s): Hawaii has a mandatory bicycle registration system that consists of a one-time $15 fee and a $5 fee when ownership of a bike is transferred.

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Bicycle user fee

Note: This type of state revenue source is not recommended.

Description: Tax on bicycle operation or purchase dedicated to non-roadway transportation (e.g. bicycle license tax).

State(s): Wisconsin

Statute(s)Wisconsin state statute 27.01(8) (link); Wisconsin Admin. Code 45.12(3) (link)

Example(s)$20 annual state trail pass required for biking on certain trails, not required for walking or hiking. $4 daily pass also available.

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Bond proceeds

Description: Bonds themselves do not in themselves constitute a revenue stream, but are a form of debt. Investors purchase bonds based on the obligation of
the issuer to repay the investor with interest. A project paid for with a bond issue will need to be secured by an identified revenue stream (such as tolls, transit fares, or parking fees) that is expected to be adequate to pay the debt service on the bonds.

State(s): California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin

Statute(s):

Example(s)

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Development impact fees

Description: Development impact fees are one-time charges collected from developers for financing new infrastructure construction and operations. They help fund growth-related public service costs, including off-site services such as roads and other necessary transportation improvements. Impact fees can also help local communities generate revenues for the development and extension of local street networks, transit stations, and bicycle/pedestrian facilities. They can also serve as a strategy to implement growth management policies and plans. More information on impact fees (PDF).

State(s): The following states have passed impact fee enabling acts that can be used for roads, but not all states allow multi-modal improvements with these fees: 

Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin

Statute(s):

Example(s):

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Drivers license fees

Description: Fee charged when applying for, replacing, or renewing a state drivers license.

State(s): Nevada, New Jersey

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Gambling (not including lottery)

Description: Taxation on income that is the result of games of chance or wagers on events with uncertain outcomes (gambling).

State(s): Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota

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General fund

Description: State and local governments have a general fund comprised of basic taxes and fees collected from residents. The funds are flexible revenue that can be spent for general government uses, and sometimes the primary source of funding for common services like police and fire departments, parks, and libraries. Additional revenue from the federal government supplements the general fund.

State(s): Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Statute(s):

Example(s): Delaware: In May of 2011, the Delaware General Assembly unanimously passed “Walkable Bikeable Delaware,” which directed the Delaware Department of Transportation to make strategic investments in walking and bicycling. In FY 2013, authorized $3 million for Statewide Trails and Pathways.

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Highway safety fees

Description: A "highway safety fee" charged as part of the vehicle registration. The money can be separated into a fund for safety initiatives, similar to federal HSIP funds.

State(s): New Jersey, Texas, Washington

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Highway use tax

Description: Highway use tax is sometimes collected instead of a state sales tax on vehicles.

State(s): North Carolina

Example(s): North Carolina collects a highway use tax on vehicles instead of a state sales tax. The tax is assessed each time a title is transferred. Money that is collected for the highway use tax goes to the North Carolina Highway Trust Fund and the State's General Fund. That money is then used to improve the roads of North Carolina.

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Land value tax

Description: Land value taxation, also known as split-rate taxation, is based on the idea that taxing a parcel of land at a higher rate than its improvement creates an incentive to develop on that land, while providing a disincentive for land speculation on the outskirts of an urban area.

State(s): Eligible source for bike/ped funding, but no known examples.

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License plates

Description: Many states sell license plates with custom designs that raise money to support organizations or state administered programs that improve bicycle safety. Usually these license plates are sold with the message to "Share the Road." Today, 9.3 million vehicles in the United States have personalized license plates and 46 states charge fees for them, generating $177 million in revenues in 2007.

State(s): Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Louisiana, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia

Statute(s): See chart from the League of American Bicyclists.

Example(s):

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Local planning assistance grants

Description: Local planning assistance grants can have a variety of names, but they are funds offered by the state for communities to help with planning. Typically this involves creating or updating a bicycle and/or pedestrian plan, transportation plan, Safe Routes to School programs, and in some cases, feasibility studies for bikeshare programs. Funds can come from state departments of transportation and health.

State(s): Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Example(s):

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Lottery revenue

Description: Revenue from state-supervised lottery games can be dedicated for specific purpose, such as education and environmental protection.

State(s): Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, West Virginia

Statute(s):

Example(s):

Advocacy Campaign: Oregon: Up to $40M/year for bike-ped. More information here.

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Naming rights

Description: Naming rights is the selling of the right to name public facilities such as toll roads, highway corridors, and concession areas.

State(s): Florida

Statute(s): Florida Statute 260.0144 (link)

Example(s): The trail sponsorship law gave the Florida Department of Environmental Protection the authority to sell sponsorship agreements/ naming rights to nonprofit and private businesses on selected state trails. Since the law was adopted 2012, 85% of profits fund state trails and 15% fund Florida Transportation Trust Fund for the Florida Traffic and Bicycle Safety Education program and the Florida Safe Routes to School program. Information from the Safe Routes to School National Partnership.

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Public private partnerships

Description: Contractual arrangements between a public agency and private entity that facilitate participation by the private sector in operations and maintenance of infrastructure projects or facilities.

State(s): California, Idaho, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington

Example(s): Virginia Capital Trail Foundation (VCTF) is a public-private partnership whose mission is to support and promote the construction, public use and ongoing enhancement of the Virginia Capital Trail. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), a state agency, describes their relationship as "working partners on this unique project."

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Real estate recordation tax

Description: Also known as a "transfer" or "excise" tax. Any kind of tax that is levied on the transfer of official documents or other property. The transfer tax is paid by the seller of the property. Gift and estate taxes are both transfer taxes.

State(s): Tennessee

Example(s): The Tennessee Real Estate Recordation Tax was used for Local Parks and Recreation Fund grant. Eligible activities include purchase of land for greenways and development of greenways and trails.

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School zone speeding fines

Description: Fines generated in school zones should be used to enhance road, bike, and pedestrian safety, particularly around schools.

State(s): Arizona, Hawaii, Washington

Statute(s):

Example(s):

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Severance fees

Description: Severance fees are charges levied on operators in the natural resource extraction industries such as coal, timber, or stone. These heavy industrial companies are usually located in remote areas of natural resource-abundant states, where the heavy vehicles they use cause the vast majority of the damage to roads. The fees can therefore be used to fund road improvements in rural areas where heavy trucks contribute most to the system’s disrepair.

State(s): Eligible source for bike/ped funding, but no known examples. 36 states charge a severance fee for resource extraction: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming. More information here.

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State fuel (gas) tax

Description: A fuel tax (also known as a petrol, gasoline or gas tax, or as a fuel duty) is an excise tax imposed on the sale of fuel.

State(s): Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Statute(s):

Example(s):

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Title fees

Description: A fee added to the cost of certifying a title for a vehicle.

State(s): North Carolina

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Toll credits

Description: Toll credits are earned when the state, a toll authority, or a private entity funds a capital transportation investment with toll revenues earned on existing toll facilities (excluding revenues needed for debt service, returns to investors, or the operation and maintenance of toll facilities). The amount of credit earned equals the amount of excess toll revenues spent on Title 23 highway capital improvement projects (except emergency relief program projects) and Title 49, Chapter 53 transit projects. If Federal funds were used for the project, the credit is reduced by the percentage of the total project cost derived from Federal funds. More information here.

State(s): Michigan

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Toll roads

Description: Tolling involves the imposition of a per-use fee on motorists using a highway that typically varies by vehicle type and distance traveled. The main purpose of tolls is to generate revenue. State DOTs vary in the legislative enabling authority that governs how they may use toll revenues. However, there are four common ways, other than for debt retirement, that toll revenue is used: (1) operations and maintenance of roadway transportation and transit systems, (2) system expansion, (3) general support for state transportation projects, and (4) investment in economic development projects. Some states use toll revenue for maintenance of the specific tolled roadway.

State(s)Delaware, Maine, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington

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Traffic violations

Description: Increasing traffic fines or dedicating their proceeds to transportation projects and maintenance is one way a state or municipality can increase transportation funding without increasing other taxes. This strategy also has the side benefit of reducing dangerous driving behavior.

State(s): New Jersey

Statute(s): New Jersey Statute 39:4-10.2 Violations, warnings, fines; "Bicycle and Skating Safety Fund." (link)

Advocacy Campaign: New Jersey dedicates revenues from bicycling and skating helmet infractions to bicycling and skating safety.

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Vehicle and truck tax

Description: Tax that shall be paid by natural and legal persons who own motor vehicles.

State(s): Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia

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Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) fee

Description: A vehicle miles traveled (VMT) fee (also known as a mileage-based user fee) is a distance-based tax whose revenues can be used to fund transportation system costs. Vehicle operators—both personal and commercial—are charged a per-mile fee instead of, or in addition to, the gas tax. With more fuel-efficient cars and lower rates of driving resulting in a decline in motor fuel tax revenues, VMT fees have been proposed as a replacement for the gas tax. It can be argued that VMT fees do a better job than fuel taxes at matching users’ road consumption to the tax they pay for road maintenance and construction. In other words, because the mileage driven better reflects the damage a car puts on a transportation system, charging by the mile more efficiently allocates the costs to road users.

State(s): Eligible source for bike/ped funding, but no known examples.

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Vehicle registration fees

Description: All states levy a motor vehicle registration fee for passenger vehicles. These fees are usually paid on an annual or biannual basis, depending on the state. In some states, local or county governments can also levy their own fees to help fund their transportation systems.

State(s): Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Statute(s): Nevada: AB145 (Complete Streets) (link)

Example(s): Nevada adopted $2 opt out fee on all vehicle registrations which goes directly to local transportation agencies to use only on complete streets projects.

Advocacy Campaign: Outside Las Vegas Foundation engaged an advocacy campaign to pass a state assembly bill to use funds from Department of Motor Vehicle car registrations for Complete Streets. (PDF)

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Vehicle transfer fees

Description: All states levy a motor vehicle transfer fee for passenger vehicles. These fees are usually paid on an annual or biannual basis, depending on the state. In some states, local or county governments can also levy their own fees to help fund their transportation systems.

State(s)Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Statute(s): Nevada: AB145 (Complete Streets) (link)

Example(s): Nevada adopted $2 opt out fee on all vehicle registrations which goes directly to local transportation agencies to use only on complete streets projects.

Advocacy Campaign: Outside Las Vegas Foundation engaged an advocacy campaign to pass a state assembly bill to use funds from Department of Motor Vehicle car registrations for Complete Streets. (PDF)

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A Partnership of:
Alliance for Biking and WalkingLeague of American Bicyclists
Supported by:

SRAM

EveryBody Walk Collaborative

REI
New Belgium

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