A new report, “Infrastructure 2012: Spotlight on Leadership,” produced by the Urban Land Institute and Ernst & Young, examines how budgetary constraints and piecemeal federal activity on infrastructure funding are leading local and regional governments to solve their fiscal woes by moving ahead with projects that are necessary to promote economic growth.
The report, cited in Structural Engineering & Design, gave examples of state and local infrastructure efforts, including North Carolina’s Research Triangle raising local funds for a planned regional transit system spanning three counties.
In late 2011, one of the three NC counties (Durham) passed a ballot referendum to fund its portion of the system; now the other two must follow suit.
Infrastructure 2012 notes that in many localities, people are voting to raise taxes for infrastructure investment – from 2008 through 2011, ballots allocating funds to transit capital or operations had a 73 percent success rate. More than a dozen states have raised fuel taxes over the past year, and drivers nationwide are accepting higher tolls for roads and bridges. Local governments are taking advantage of tax increment financing and special assessment districts as well as public-private partnerships, while exploring alternative sources of private investment such as sovereign wealth funds and pension plans. Read More.