Legislation introduced in the Senate yesterday would bring billions of dollars of investment to state and local governments to help grow and repair America’s aging infrastructure. Sens. John Hoeven (R-ND) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced the Move America Act, which would expand tax-exempt private activity bonds and create a new infrastructure tax credit, giving states significant flexibility to pursue much-needed infrastructure projects. The Move America program is designed to leverage additional private investment in our public infrastructure, according to KTVZ-TV.
The legislation would create Move America Bonds, which would expand tax-exempt financing for public-private partnerships, and Move America Credits, which would leverage additional private equity investment at a lower cost for states. Through cheaper and more flexible access to debt and equity, Move America gives states the tools they need to expand investment in roads, bridges, ports, rail, and airports.
“Move America bonds and tax credits are an effective way to leverage private-sector dollars to build the infrastructure we need across the country to grow America’s economy and create jobs,” Hoeven said. “We have bipartisan support for this effort and seek to do it in a way that incentivizes private investment, leverages the P3 program and is fully paid for so that it doesn’t increase the deficit.” (Credit KTVZ-TV).
To address the national infrastructure investment gap, the senators said it is important to ensure the solvency of the trust funds for highways, airports, ports and waterways, but it is also vital that the federal government do what it can to leverage greater private investment in infrastructure.
Greater use of private capital through P3s could serve as a helpful addition to increased federal infrastructure spending through the infrastructure trust funds, they said. P3s provide two major benefits: the private investment provides an injection of upfront capital financing, and the risk-transfer to private parties can bring increased efficiency to the design, construction and maintenance process.
While not all projects are feasible for P3s, they can play a helpful, additive role for public infrastructure, in concert with robust public funding, the lawmakers said.