A Guide to Transportation Funding Options
Highway Funding – Banks, Funds and Credit Assistance
General Fund Appropriations
The dedication of a portion of the revenue received in the general fund directly to transportation. Although more commonly implemented at the local level, some states use general fund appropriations.
Proposed National Infrastructure Banks (NIBs)
S.1926 Bill Text and Status - Library of Congress THOMAS website
Proposed Federal legislation (Senate Bill 1926, 2007) would create an independent national bank financed with a $60 billion bond issue. Using the bonds to leverage private capital, the bank would supplement public spending and finance large capacity-building infrastructure projects "of substantial regional and national significance." Candidate projects would be brought to the Bank's attention by state and local sponsors. Eligible projects would include roads, bridges, mass transit systems, wastewater treatment facilities and public housing.
State Infrastructure Banks (SIBs)
SIB Review - FHWA website
SIB Case Studies - FHWA website
List of SIBs by State - AASHTO Innovative Finance for Surface Transportation website
SIBs act as revolving infrastructure investment. They are established and administered by States, but any government entity can request a loan. SIBs may be capitalized with regular Federal-aid highway apportionments and State funds and can offer a range of flexible financial assistance, including loans and various forms of credit enhancement.
Candidate projects for SIB assistance include any highway project eligible for Federal assistance under Title 23 of the U.S. Code and any transit capital project eligible for Federal assistance under Title 49 of the U.S. Code. SIBs can provide financial support to both public and private sponsors of eligible transportation projects, and can assist in financing any stage of the project's development. There are no Federal share restrictions on the cost of projects eligible to receive SIB assistance.
Texas Mobility Fund
Texas Mobility Fund Overview- TxDOT website
Allows the Texas Department of Transportation to issue bonds backed by future state revenues. This method of financing is intended to accelerate project delivery.
Transportation Infrastructure Finance
and Innovation Act (TIFIA)
TIFIA Legislation, Application, Projects and More - FHWA website
Authorized by Congress in 1998, TIFIA allows the USDOT to provide direct credit assistance of up to 33% of project costs to sponsors of major transportation projects. This assistance may be in the form of a loan, a loan guarantee or a line of credit. The TIFIA program goals are similar to SIBs and Section 129 loans in that the program provides credit rather than grants to projects. There are, however, two significant differences between the programs. First, the USDOT directly negotiates with private and public sponsors of eligible transportation projects. Secondly, TIFIA does not draw loan funds from those already apportioned to other states.
Public and private entities may apply for TIFIA credit assistance. These may include state DOTs, local governments, transit agencies, special authorities or districts, railroad companies, private firms, or consortia.
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