Report: Funding for MI infrastructure projects falls $3B short
- A recent report from a DC–based public interest group found that $3.3 billion worth of highway and bridge projects in Michigan lack adequate funding, according to MLive.
- A $4.2 billion funding increase enacted in 2015 intended to last through 2023 is not enough to keep pace with the necessary repairs and upgrades to the state's aging infrastructure, according to the TRIP report. With that level of investment, the current estimate of 20% of roads in poor conditions would escalate to 50% by 2020.
- The 2015 bill added approximately $1.2 billion year for road and highway projects. More than $2 billion comes from the state's general fund, but increased user fees for automobile owners will shoulder the rest. Some lawmakers have pushed back against those taxpayer increases, arguing that Michigan businesses should have to pay their share as well.
Governments at the state and federal level continue to grapple with the massive scope of necessary infrastructure repairs in the U.S. and the limited funds available to address even the most critical projects. According to an American Society of Civil Engineers report earlier this year, it would take $4.6 trillion by 2025 to make all the necessary U.S. improvements, a figure that represents an increase of $1 trillion since the organization last ran the numbers in 2013.
In one effort tackle the crisis from a federal perspective, Rep. Peter A. DeFazio, R-OR, has introduced a bill that would increase the Highway Trust Fund gas tax by a penny a year. The HTF distributes highway money to the states, and the increase would add approximately $17 billion annually to its coffers. However, some lawmakers have pushed back against any tax increases.
States could also get some relief depending on what's contained in President Donald Trump's long-awaited infrastructure bill. Despite the lack of specifics, Trump said this week he plans to cut red tape for projects in his $1 trillion infrastructure plan.
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