Supply Chain News / Risk & Compliance

Transportation on the Ballot

Ballot Proposal results from the 2012 election.

November 13, 2012
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In all of the 2012 elections there were a number of ballot measures throughout the United States that directly, or indirectly, could affect World Trade 100’s readership. Interestingly enough, most ballot proposals never made it to the actual voter’s ballots. Of the 17 possible initiatives, only six made it through the various court systems by meeting all requirements. Failed proposals included:

  • Arizona Traffic Camera Question
  • California "Stop the $100 Billion Bullet Train to Nowhere" Initiative
  • California Elimination of the High-Speed Rail Authority
  • Maryland Transportation Trust Fund Amendment
  • Oregon Motor Vehicle Tax Voter Approval Initiative
  • Oregon Studded Tire Ban Initiative
  • Washington 13.5 Hour Limited Driver's License Initiative
  • Washington Motor Vehicle Fees, Initiative 490
  • Washington Red-Light Cameras, Initiative 1187
  • Washington Vehicle License Tab Fees, Initiative 1186

As of Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 (a week after the elections), the results for the six proposals voted upon are:

Alaska Transportation Project Bonds Question, Bonding Proposition A

The Alaska Transportation Project Bonds Question allowed for a general obligation bond to be issued for the purpose of transportation projects in the state. The bond was not to exceed $453,499,200.

According to a column by Dermot Cole, published by the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, "The biggest project overall is $50 million for the Anchorage port work. A report on the port has been completed but will not be released until after the election.”

Approved; approximately 57 percent approvals.

Arkansas Sales Tax Increase Amendment, Issue 1

The Arkansas Sales Tax Increase Question would implement a temporary half-percent sales tax in the state. The revenue generated from the tax was to be used to pay for a four-lane highway system statewide.

Approved; approximately 58 percent approvals.

Georgia Sales Tax Increase to Fund Transportation Projects

The Sales Tax Increase to Fund Transportation Projects Referendum, also known as TSPLOST, which stands for “transportation special-purpose, local-option, sales tax,” was on the July 31, 2012 primary statewide ballot in Georgia as a legislative referendum where it was defeated in 9 of the 12 regions that voted on it.

This "statewide referendum" was triggered by the signing into law of Georgia House Bill 277 on June 2, 2010, which was enacted automatically.
HB 277 divided the state into 12 separate tax districts and required that each district put together a list of potential transportation projects.
The law then called for this referendum to be decided on in each district about whether to increase the regional sales tax as a means of funding said projects.

The 12 tax districts' electorate would decide on the referendum. Therefore, the tax increase would not apply to a district that chooses not to enact it.

Former Gov. Sonny Perdue pushed for the plan and in a news conference in January 2010, he described his proposal as "the ultimate democratic referendum on investing in transportation". As of 2012, Gov. Nathan Deal currently serves as the state's governor.


  • Northwest Georgia: Defeated, by 68 percent.
  • Georgia Mountains: Defeated, by 75 percent.
  • Atlanta Regional: Defeated, by 62 percent.
  • Three Rivers: Defeated, by 69 percent.
  • Northeast Georgia: Defeated, by 65 percent.
  • Middle Georgia: Defeated, by 56 percent.
  • Central Savannah River Area: Approved, by 54 percent.
  • River Valley: Approved, by 54 percent.
  • Heart of Georgia Altamaha: Approved, by 52 percent.
  • Southwest Georgia: Defeated, by 57 percent.
  • Southern Georgia: Defeated, by 58 percent.
  • Coastal Georgia: Defeated, by 58 percent.

Michigan International Bridge Initiative, Proposal 6

The Michigan International Bridge Initiative was on the Nov 6, 2012 statewide ballot in Michigan as an initiated constitutional amendment, where it was defeated. If enacted, this measure would have required voters to approve any new bridge or tunnel from Michigan to Canada.

The measure was proposed by the Detroit International Bridge Co., which, incidentally, owns The Ambassador Bridge. The Ambassador Bridge is the sole bridge in the region between the United States and Canada. It is the only privately owned and operated border crossing in the United States and stands to lose millions should another bridge, funded by Canada, be constructed nearby. Through their PAC, the company spent over $4.5 million in advertisements to get the yes vote.

Defeated; approximately 60 percent of voters said no.

Oregon – Lake Oswego City Boones Ferry Road Bond Issue

The Lake Oswego City Boones Ferry Road Bond measure was on the Nov. 6, 2012 election ballot in Multnomah and Clackamas counties, which are in Oregon.

If approved, this measure would have authorized Lake Oswego City to issue up to $5 million in general obligation bonds to proved funding for some of the design, right of way acquisition and construction for Boones Ferry Road Improvements.

Defeated; approximately 51 percent of the electorate said “Nay.”

Oregon – Rogue River City Street Improvement Bond Measure

A Rogue River City Street Improvement Bond measure grants to the city of Rogue River the authority to levy bonds for up to $1.6 million in order to improve and maintain streets.

Approved; approximately 58 percent approvals.

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