North Dakota road funding

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BISMARCK, N.D. - The state of North Dakota only pays for 19% of its road construction and maintenance. The federal government covers the rest of the budget.

When you fill up at the pump, you pay 41.4 cents per gallon of taxes. It breaks down to about 23 cents for the state and 18.4 cents for the federal government. The state hasn't increased this since 2005.

"What you're seeing is we are primarily maintaining the system as it is today. We don't have a lot of constructions, we have a lot of preventative maintenance type of work. Eventually we're going to fall behind on the number of resources we need to go into those preventative maintenance type of jobs," said Steve Salwei, Transportation Programs director.

State staff says that if we don't increase something, we won't be able to maintain our roads in 20 years.

"If it's something like that, five cents more, yeah ok, that's reasonable. If it's something ridiculous like 10, 15, 20, no I wouldn't be happy with that," said Emmanuel Dua-Asante, Bismarck.

The Highway Fund gets divided out to counties and cities as well, though staff says more efficient cars have caused those funds to under perform.

"We've had to tighten our belt on several areas. The purchase of equipment, the manpower that we have, particularly in the county, and in different construction projects, we've held back on some of those," said Marcus Hall, Burleigh engineer.

As part of the 2020 budget, Burleigh County is increasing the amount of property taxes that are going towards county roads to help make up the difference.

During this year's legislative session, some lawmakers tried to increase the tax by four or seven cents per gallon, both options failed.​