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55 APPENDIX B Summary of Survey Results Part I. Background Information (a) What unit of your agency is responsible for HCASs and related work? Responses Planning & programming unit 13 Financial unit 4 1 & 2 combined 1 Policy unit 1 1 & 4 combined 1 Other unit 7 Multiple units 1 Total 28 Part II. Highway Cost Allocation Studies Completed or Planned (e) Has your state performed an HCAS since 1982? Responses Yes 19 No 14 Total 33 (f) HCASs performed since 1982 (date of a major benchmark Federal HCAS report) in your state. Responses States Alaska, Delaware, Florida, Kansas, Maryland, States performing one study only 9 New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Wyoming 6 California, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Virginia, States performing two studies Wisconsin States performing three studies 0 States performing four studies 1 Vermont States performing five studies 2 Kentucky, Arizona
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56 States performing more than five studies 2 Oregon (15), Nevada (6) Total states 20 Total studies 56 (h) Did your state complete any major benchmark HCASs or related work prior to 1982? Responses States New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia, Yes 6 Washington, Wyoming No 24 Total 30 (i) In your state's most recent HCAS, what levels of government were separately analyzed in terms of sources of funds versus cost responsibility? Responses State funds and state highway only 5 State and federal funds combined only 8 State and federal funds analyzed separately 1 State, federal, and local funds analyzed separately 3 Other: state, federal, and local funds combined only 2 Total 19 (k) Have any of your HCASs included analyses of unmet needs, the long-term costs of deferred maintenance, etc.? Responses Yes 3 No 16 Total 19 Comments related to Question (k): Nevada: Unmet needs, yes. Deferred maintenance, no. Our 10-year transportation plan was used to analyze future construction needs. We assumed that all those projects would be funded, even though funding at the time was 1. inadequate to do so. We also assumed that preservation work would be fully funded and based our future needs on our biennial State Highway Preservations Reports.
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57 2. North Carolina: North Carolina used it to justify a bond issue in the 1970s. Oregon: The 1974 and 1980 studies analyzed alternative expenditure levels beyond the base (expected 3 expenditure level based on existing tax rates) budget. (l) Have any of your HCASs involved consideration of costs to users versus costs to non-users? Responses Yes 0 No 18 Total 18 (m) Have any of your HCASs considered non-user taxes and fees? Responses States Yes 4 California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon No 14 Total 18 (p) Please list any special surveys or major data collection efforts done as part of HCASs: Responses Special surveys of local governments' highway expenditures by type 5 Updated financial data and ran reports 1 Weigh-in-motion (WIM), vehicle configurations 1 Traffic, registered vehicles, weight-mile data 2 Local government expenditure allocation survey 1 Special truck weight studies 1 Studded tire damage studies 1 Flat fee studies 1 Pavement, bridge, and interchange cost responsibility studies 1 Total 14 Comments related to Question (p): 1. Arizona: Updated financial data and ran reports 2. California: Local government surveys for each HCAS 3. Idaho: WIM and vehicle configurations
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58 4. Montana: Significant effort in compiling traffic data and compiling registered vehicle information Nevada: Routine HPMS data collection for traffic; special analyses of miles traveled, ESAL-miles 5. traveled, and ton-miles traveled by various vehicle classifications Oregon: Local government survey; special truck weight survey; studded tire studies; flat fee study; 6. pavement, bridge, and interchange cost responsibility studies Virginia: A special survey was done to obtain (vehicle weight * VMT data); it was referred to as the 7. "summer survey" in the 1991 study report 8. Wisconsin: Special study of axle weights by registered vehicle weight class (q). Please estimate the approximate cost and/or level of staff effort required for these studies. Responses Under $100,000 3 $100,000$200,000 2 $200,000$350,000 1 $350,000$500,000 4 45 person-months 2 5-man task force, 3 years 1 A few days of in-house staff time 1 Total 14 Part III. Questions Related to Highway Cost Allocation Studies (r) What entity initiated the demand for an HCAS? Responses HCASs done as an initiative of the state's DOT 14 As an initiative of other agencies 0 By mandate or request of the legislature of other officials 11 Total 25
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59 (s) Why were the studies done? Responses To determine if taxes and fees were equitable 26 To adjust taxes and fee rates to be more equitable 12 To respond to questions raised by others: (13) Legislature 11 Governor 0 Other (California: requirement of 1991 ISTEA) 2 Total 51 If none were done, why not? Responses Lack of technical expertise or experience 1 Too costly and time consuming 2 No issues have arisen calling for such studies 8 Other 1 Total 12 (t) What has been the impact of the HCASs? Responses Helpful in developing recommendations for changes in user fees or tax 13 rates Effective in getting support for improvements in the equity of the tax 3 structure in the legislature and/or with other officials Helpful in planning other related work 5 No impact 4 Other 4 Total 29 Comments related to the "other" response in Question (t): 1. Florida: Impact unknown at this time. Kansas: The study was helpful during development of the Comprehensive Highway Program to 2. verify the equity of user fees between vehicle classes.
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60 Nevada: The studies provided detailed understanding of tax laws and tax collection to aid in making substantive and effective changes in tax collection (e.g., reducing evasion, developing an 3. on-line oversize/overweight permit system, and improved customer service by moving highway- fund tax collections to a single agency). Oregon: This was particularly important in the 1980s and early 1990s when a series of legislative measures were successful in raising Oregon's fuels tax rate from 7 cents to 24 cents per gallon and 4. increasing the truck tax rates proportionately to maintain the proper, cost-responsible balance of payments from light and heavy vehicles. Virginia: The 1991 HCAS promoted interest in development of more precise tools and data collection/storage systems for use in periodic cases, as well as legislative action to increase user fees 5. on the motor carrier sector. A subsequent study (1992) was commissioned to evaluate pavement deterioration methodologies, propose better data management, and examine tax equity proposals for motor carriers. Interest declined between 1992 and the present. (v) Are you aware of any work extending HCASs to deal with emerging new approaches? Responses Highway finance 2 Public-private partnerships 1 Toll systems 1 High-occupancy toll lane systems 0 Other: 3 Total 7 Comments related to the "other" response in Question (v): Arizona: Any new revenue sources should be attributed to vehicle classes paying them, with costs 1. attributed to vehicles that occasion them Oregon: Monitoring a Road-User-Fee Task Force Pilot Program currently testing the feasibility of 2. using a mileage-based fee to eventually replace the fuels tax in Oregon Virginia: Distributions of truck operating weights for given registered weights might be available 3. from WIM data (w) Please rate the quality of your state's most recent HCAS. Excellent Good Average Weak Poor Technical; methods and data 1 6 3 0 0 Accuracy of the methods 2 6 2 0 0
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61 Credibility of work among stakeholders 2 4 1 3 0 Coverage of vehicle classes 2 4 3 1 0 Coverage of all relevant funding sources, 3 4 3 0 0 fees, and taxes Handling of special revenue factors 1 4 4 1 0 Total 11 28 16 5 0 (x) What would be most helpful to you in conducting future HCASs? Responses Improved guidelines 15 Copies of HCAS reports from other states 18 Software 15 Conference(s), networking, and/or federal workshops 14 Other 13 Total responses 75 Comments related to the "other" response in Question (x): 1. Arizona: If you cannot afford to conduct full-fledged HCASs on a frequent basis (at least once every five years) you should consider using a simplified methodology. As time passes, older HCASs can be criticized or dismissed as "obsolete" given new traffic and new construction. 2. California: AASHTO should consider recommendations to guide states considering future HCASs and related studies. 3. Idaho: Before starting study, contact other states to establish guidelines for study and develop understand- ing of the process, don't rely on consultants alone. The state must have a deep understanding of the process and potential outcomes before beginning. 4. Michigan: Engineering knowledge about the effect of trucks with Michigan's weight limits. 5. Montana: Assure you have adequate staffing resources and access to the data you need before you start. Not having good quality data can be extremely dangerous. 6. Nevada: Legislative action consistent with the study results to motivate us to conduct additional studies. If the study results will be ignored, don't conduct one. It's too big an effort to satisfy your curiosity. However, if you believe it will be a valuable tool for progress (whether in terms of developing equitable tax policy, building better traffic information, or exposing significant data collection or analysis weaknesses), then the rigors are worth it. you have adequate staffing resources and access to the data you need before you start. Not having good quality data can be extremely dangerous. 7. Ohio: Ohio would just refer to national studies or studies from other states.
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62 8. Oregon: Allow adequate time for completion of the study and any follow-up analyses requested by state administrators, legislators, legislative staff, etc. Also ensure the staff resources and budget for the study are adequate, particularly for a first-time effort that will tend to be more costly than a continuing effort. Talk to/meet with staff in other states that have done such studies to get an informed idea of what will be required, what data sources will be needed, problems likely to been encountered, potential ways to work around these problems, how best to present the study results, and gain political acceptance for these results, etc. Devote a significant amount of up-front time to planning the study, including determining exactly what issues the study is to address and what questions it will be designed to answer; deciding on the vehicle classes to be analyzed and which expenditures and revenues to include; preparing a list(s) of the numerous data elements that will be required and determining whether the data are available and, if so, from where and how long it will take to be obtained; and deciding whether it will be more cost-effective to do the study in-house or have it performed by consultants (although there are exceptions, as a general rule, a state considering doing a first-time HCAS will often find it preferable to rely on consultants). If the study is contracted out, require that the selected contractor provide a detailed work plan and projected schedule before beginning any actual work on the study. These studies tend to be costly and it is very important that the potential for any misunderstanding of what is expected of the contractor be minimized right from the beginning by clear and effective communication. If doing the study in-house, prior to the actual commencement of work on the study, form a technical advisory team composed of internal, subject-matter experts (e.g., a pavement engineer, a bridge engineer, a maintenance engineer, an agency budget officer, etc.) to provide guidance and technical expertise for the study. This will pay great dividends when it comes time to ask these same individuals for data, analyses, or other information required for the study. Regardless of whether the study will be done in-house or by consultants, also form (again, prior to commencement of work on the study) a study review or advisory group composed of external stakeholders and other interested parties (e.g., a representative of the state trucking association, a representative of the automobile association, a representative of local governments, one or two academics, subject-matter experts from local universities, and a legislative staff person or even a couple of selected legislators such as the chairs of the committees dealing with transportation and revenue matters). Forming such a group and having them meet on a regular basis to advise on and provide guidance for the study will not guarantee political acceptance of the study results and recommendations, but it will most certainly help in this regard. If this type of group becomes too large, however, it can become cumbersome, dysfunctional, and actually work to discourage rather than encourage political acceptance of the study results. It is therefore recommended such a group be kept relatively small--10 to 15 members is in most cases the ideal size. 9. Utah: UDOT is interested in the results of this synthesis report.
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63 10. Vermont: Assemble a team of people representing the areas of expertise required for a successful HCAS. For VTrans, that included the Budget Office, DMV staff, Highway Research, and Traffic Research. The effort had high level support from the Directors because it was required by the legislature for the 2006 session. If possible, use existing software. VTrans found that the free FHWA HCAS software covered our needs. Regarding the FHWA software: - Review the Vermont recommendations that were submitted to the FHWA that outlines some of the problems to watch out for. - Run the software with the default data to make sure it works in your environment. - Get a commitment from the IT staff for support. - Run the system frequently as you add expenditure and revenue information. Make sure that all input is accurately reflected in the output reports. Frequent execution of the system makes i it easier to diagnose problems. The legislature requested the HCAS study; however, it had little effect on the final fee bill. I testified about the study at the House Ways & Means Committee, the House Transportation Committee, and the Senate Transportation Committee. VTrans wanted fees that would hit trucks harder, but that is politically sensitive. Several legislators commented that increases in truck fees would simply be passed on to Vermont consumers. Additionally, they did not want Vermont to get out of line with the surrounding states of New Hampshire, New York, and Massachusetts. Several fee proposals were discussed. We ran HCAS with the increased revenue and reported on which class of users would pay. We were surprised at the differences in equity rations (1.27 for two-axle vehicles and 0.55 for trucks. Light vehicles are over paying, and heavy vehicles are underpaying.) Our approach was reviewed by a consul- tant, Joe Stowers of Sydec, and we feel the results are accurate. One possible reason for the truck underpayment is that the VTrans' budget is heavily dependent on federal funding (55%); therefore, the expenditure side of the equation is tilted toward truck corridors, NHS and Interstate. Trucks get more benefit in the VTrans programs. Also, our rural state does not have expensive congestion mitigation expenditures that would fall primarily on automobiles. Someone representing the trucking industry was at each testimony session; however, I am not aware of any behind-the-scenes trucking industry participation in the process. We diligently tried to apply the correct allocation rules and fine-tune the tables so that we could defend the system if necessary. The final results, however, were not very sensitive to many of the rules in the FHWA HCAS. (Arizona's simplified HCAS approach is of interest to us if we conduct another study.) There were no challenges to the HCAS results. Most of the legislative debate centered on the VTrans/DMV proposal to reduce the amount of money transferred from the Transportation Fund to the Education Fund. (The final bill reduced the Education Fund transfer and raised numerous DMV fees.) The equity ratios moved only one percentage point towards equity for both light and heavy vehicles.
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64 I estimate the study took about four to five person months of effort including working with the software. Another study would be easier now that we know what to collect and what is important. Although the project was completed by inhouse staff, we had a consultant review our approach, meet with several agency staff, and fix a software problem. 11. Virginia: FHWA Office of Policy can provide a state highway cost allocation tool on CD-ROM that was developed by consultants. Could be very useful if a state's data are compatible with the tool. 12. Washington: No future HCASs are planned. 13. Wyoming: Improved documentation from FHWA for the software they developed. More extensive vehicle class data for the entire state highway system.