RD352 - Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission Fiscal Year 2020 Annual Report to the Joint Commission on Transportation Accountability Relating to the Hampton Roads Transportation Fund
Item 1.O. of Chapter 1289 of the 2020 Session of the General Assembly included the requirement that the Joint Commission on Transportation Accountability shall regularly review, and provide oversight of the usage of funding generated pursuant to the provisions of House Bill 2313, 2013 Session of the General Assembly. To this end, The Joint Commission on Transportation Accountability shall regularly review, and provide oversight of the usage of funding generated pursuant to the provisions of House Bill 2313, 2013 Session of the General Assembly. To this end, by November 15 the Secretary of Transportation, the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority and the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission shall each prepare a report on the uses of the Intercity Passenger Rail Operating and Capital Funds, the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority Fund, and the Hampton Roads Transportation Fund, respectively, each year to be presented to the Joint Commission on Transportation Accountability.
During FY2020, the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission (‘HRTAC’) took actions and executed project agreements or project amendments with the Virginia Department of Transportation (‘VDOT’) to advance project readiness and to provide financing and project delivery. During the fiscal year, HRTAC issued its FY2021 through FY2026 Funding Plan Update and its Long-Range Funding Plan through FY2045, and further advanced project development and construction of over $5.29 billion total value projects with VDOT. During FY2020, HRTAC closed a federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (‘TIFIA’) loan and issued a Bond Anticipation Note to fully finance its first six congestion relief projects. HRTAC also began the process of applying for a TIFIA loan and prepared for issuing a Hampton Roads Transportation Fund backed bond sale to support funding commitments to the I-64 Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel Expansion Project with both scheduled to close in FY2021. The major work activity of FY2020 was the negotiation of the Master Tolling Agreement for the Hampton Roads Express Lanes and preparation for the administration of the Hampton Roads Regional Transit Fund and Program. Of the total project costs under agreement, $4.7 billion is sourced by HRTAC controlled monies. To-date, the SMART SCALE Program has provided approximately $463.7 million toward HRTAC projects including the I-64 Peninsula Widening, the I-64 Southside Widening/High Rise Bridge Phase I, the I-64/I-264 Interchange Improvements (Phase II) and the HRBT Expansion Project. Figure 1 provides a graphic showing the locations and the activities of the HRTAC funded projects. HRTAC does not allow balances to sit on projects that will not fully utilize the allocated funds in a timely manner. VDOT and HRTAC work together to identify projects that could release project contingency funds or allocations deemed surplus to allow other projects to advance.
Legislative actions in the 2020 session of the General Assembly that impacted HRTAC included HB1726/SB1038 that created the Hampton Roads Regional Transit Program and Fund to develop, maintain, and improve a regional network of transit routes and related infrastructure, rolling stock, and support facilities. The program is funded by an additional (i) regional grantor's tax at a rate of $0.06 per $100 of the consideration for the conveyance and (ii) regional transient occupancy tax at a rate of one percent of the charge for the occupancy, both imposed in localities in the Hampton Roads Transportation District. The legislation also dedicated $20 million of revenues from existing recordation taxes to funding the program. The moneys will be deposited into the Hampton Roads Regional Transit Fund, created by the bill, and will be administered by HRTAC. Use of the funds would require a two-thirds vote of the HRTAC localities in which the new taxes were imposed. HB1438 authorized the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission to impose and collect tolls in high-occupancy toll lanes on certain portions of Interstate 64. The area of Interstate 64 in which such tolls may be imposed is the vicinity of the interchange of Interstate 64 and Jefferson Avenue to the interchange of Interstate 64, Interstate 264, and Interstate 664. The bill directs the Commission to enter into an agreement with the Commonwealth Transportation Board and the Department of Transportation regarding the standards for operating the facility and use of toll proceeds. Other legislation involving adjustments to state and regional motor fuels tax revenues included for HRTAC the conversion of the calculation of gasoline tax revenue from a 2.1 percentage of wholesale cost per gallon to a new rate of 7.6 cents per gallon on gasoline and gasohol (and 7.7 cents per gallon on diesel), subject to an annual adjustment in accordance with the consumer price index beginning July 1, 2021.