OTC Awards Funding and Provides Direction for Transferring Funds Between Programs

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DATE:           JULY 18, 2019


Today the Oregon Transportation Commission awarded over $19 million in Statewide Transportation Improvement Fund (STIF) Discretionary Program and Statewide Transit Network Program funding. The 2019-21 awards were made after a competitive statewide process that will distribute nearly $10.6 million in STIF Discretionary, $7.3 million in STIF Intercommunity Discretionary and $1.3 million in Federal Transit Administration Intercity (Section 5311(f)) funds.

We want to thank everyone for submitting applications, and you can see the list of project awards on the ODOT STIF website. 

Funding transfers
In a related action, commissioners directed the Rail and Public Transit Division to transfer $2.3 million of unobligated STIF Discretionary and STIF Intercommunity Discretionary funds and $7.8 million from STIF Formula funds to the Special Transportation Fund (STF), effective this month. The options considered by the OTC and the impact on individual Qualified Entities are posted online in the OTC’s July meeting packet. This transfer ensures STF Formula funds for the 2019-21 biennium will be distributed consistent with October 2018 published estimates.

In making this decision, the OTC considered the following:

  • Actual transit tax revenues are exceeding ODOT’s conservative December 2018 estimate by approximately $10 million after two quarters of collections.
  • If the current collection trend continues, Qualified Entities are likely to fully fund 100% STIF Plan project lists despite the 4.7% reduction in STIF Formula funds.
  • This approach uses $2.3 million in STIF discretionary funds that would otherwise be carried forward to FY 2021-23.

This transfer will keep STF Formula funding and services intact while we work with stakeholders like you to develop a plan for consolidating STF and STIF into a single program. (Our 2019 budget requires the consolidation of STF and STIF, effective July 1, 2021.)

With today’s direction, our team will process STIF Formula Fund and STF Formula Fund disbursements no later than July 30, 2019, consistent with existing STF agreements. STF agencies can anticipate receiving full payments.

STIF Qualified Entities with an approved STIF Plan will receive the Formula funding as specified in the July 2019 disbursement notice, published on the STIF website, under the Formula Fund Resources section. The July disbursement to Qualified Entities will be less than the May payment because it includes one quarter of revenues, rather than two, and because of the one-time $7.1 million Formula fund transfer to STF.

STF/STIF consolidation next steps
We will be forming a Consolidation Advisory Committee (CAC) in order to advise us on the key elements of a plan that would guide statutory changes to merge STF and STIF. A copy of the CAC charter and member composition is located online in the OTC’s July 18 meeting materials. We anticipate CAC members will be appointed by Deputy Director Paul Mather this summer. The CAC’s work on the merger concepts should be completed by late October 2019 in order for the OTC to review the concepts in November. The Oregon State Legislature is expected to consider the consolidation concepts during its 2020 session.

Thank you for your support of public transportation in Oregon.