With less than a month until the Highway Trust Fund will expires, lawmakers are scrambling to come up with a funding initiative. On May 4th Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) announced the Move America Act of 2015.
This legislation will expand the availability of tax-exempt while creating new tax credits for state and local governments. The senators admit that this proposal would not solve the funding problem, rather it would help states finance desperately needed projects.
This proposal is interesting in that it seeks to involve the private sector in the transportation and infrastructure mix in a way other proposals have not. Incentivizing for-profit businesses to invest in infrastructure projects makes sense because of the significant economic gains that such investments create. Considering though that roads, bridges, and tunnels are a public good and not particularly profitable it is important that the federal government play a large roll in funding. As such, public-private partnerships such as the Move America Act of 2015 add an important layer to the goal of long term infrastructure funding.