A bipartisan group of four members of Congress have introduced legislation that could bring billions of dollars of new investment to state and local government to help grow and repair America’s aging infrastructure. The stated purpose of the legislation is to “provide tools to finance additional transportation, water, and information infrastructure capital investments, through an approach that provides assistance for financing of infrastructure to all States, rural and urban, and large and small.”
The Move America Act of 2017 (the “Act;” H.R. 3912 or S. 1229) seeks to expand tax-exempt private activity bonds and create a new infrastructure tax credit, which would give states and local governmental entities new flexibility to pursue infrastructure projects that are badly needed across the country.
The Act authorizes a new type of exempt facility bonds called “Move America” bonds, which would draw upon each state’s population size to determine the principal amount of Move America Bonds that could be issued in each state. Notably, Move America Bonds would not require governmental ownership of the project financed with proceeds of the new category of bonds, which may offer new opportunities for public-private partnerships.
The Act also authorizes a new type of federal tax credit called “Move America” credits that would authorize a tax credit in an amount equal to 10 percent of the cost of a qualified project. Another interesting feature of the proposed legislation is that it allows states to trade their unused Move America bond allocation for Move America tax credits.
It leverages as much as $8 billion in federal investments into $226 billion in bond authority over 10 years, or up to $56 billion in tax credits. The bill is sponsored by Reps. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y.
Through potentially less expensive and more flexible access to debt and equity, the Act gives states and local governments new tools to expand investment in roads, bridges, ports, rail, and airports.
For more information, please see the following: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/3912/text
Authored by Blake C. Sharpton