Transportation Agencies and Services

Transportation Agencies and Services

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) was appropriated $155 million in FY 2017. This funding was the lowest in five years as appropriations were reduced to help manage the budget shortfall. However, ODOT was authorized to issue $200 million in bonds to offset their cuts in appropriated and dedicated funds. ODOT normally receives approximately $200 million in appropriations from the State Transportation Fund, which collects fuel and other vehicle-related taxes. Overall, ODOT spent $1.5 billion in FY 2016, thanks to federal grant funds, dedicated state revenues that flow directly to the Department, and local government matching funds to construct roads. It also purchases land for highway expansion, helps fund county roads and bridges, and supports railroad projects.

Oklahoma has taken two important steps in recent years to increase state road funding and thus be eligible for more federal funds. These are:

  • Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles (GARVEE bonds), which borrow against future federal funds to build more highway projects sooner, and
  • The Rebuilding Oklahoma Access and Driver Safety (ROADS) fund, which reserves part of the individual income tax for transportation purposes. The ROADS Fund will receive $531 million in FY 2017.

Two agencies provide transportation services without state appropriations. The largest is the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, which operates Oklahoma’s 597 miles of toll roads, which is second only to Florida. In 2014, the Authority collected $250 million in tolls and other fees. It spent approximately $215 million.

The Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission finances airport improvements and operations across Oklahoma. Its major funding sources are aircraft fuel taxes, motor vehicle tax on aircraft, and pilots licenses. Its major spending is for airport construction and grants to local airports. Annual spending for FY 2015 was approximately $5 million for general operations and $10 million for airport assistance.

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