America’s transportation infrastructure is in desperate need of an update, and most politicians would agree that more funding should be dedicated the nation’s highways and mass transit systems. Yet there is little consensus about where to find those new funds and Democrats and Republicans disagree stridently over whether Washington should increase its role.
One potentially fertile place for compromise may be in the form of state infrastructure banks, which have gained support from both the left and right in recent months. These public agencies, provided some government funds, would be designed to encourage significant private investment. And they would do so with little interference from the national government.
“I-banks” could lend states, municipalities, and perhaps even private sector agencies a significant portion of project funds that would later be paid back through user fees, public-private partnerships, or dedicated taxes.
The idea is to get more transportation projects under construction without significantly expanding the national deficit. And the idea is not particularly new: Infrastructure banks have been on the radar since 1995, when state banks were initially authorized to receive federal funds. Now, more than thirty states have them in operation.
Read the entire article at the Atlantic Cities
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