U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today released the Obama Administration’s four-year surface transportation reauthorization proposal that would increase federal highway investment by almost $10 billion per year and public transportation investment by nearly $7.5 billion annually from FY 2015-2018.
The $302 billion GROW AMERICA Act— Generating Renewal, Opportunity, and Work with Accelerated Mobility, Efficiency, and Rebuilding of Infrastructure and Communities throughout America—does not contain a specific, dedicated revenue proposal. It calls for transferring $150 billion in revenue from a rewrite of the nation’s corporate tax laws to the Highway Trust Fund. While that concept for replenishing the fund is similar to what House Republicans have advocated, the trust fund’s revenue crisis will materialize in a matter of months and Congress will not be considering tax reform in 2014.
Other major provisions of the Obama plan include:
- $13.4 billion over four years for a “fix-it-first” initiative called “Critical Immediate Investments Program;”
- $10 billion over four years for a “Multimodal Freight Investment Program” that would provide formula and discretionary funds for freight infrastructure improvements;
- Expand the Highway Trust Fund to a “Transportation Trust Fund” that would support highway, transit, passenger rail and multimodal projects. Roughly half of the revenues would come from general government sources which dilutes the linkage between highway system use and annual investment levels;
- $1.25 billion per year for the Administration’s “TIGER” program that provides discretionary grants for national or regionally significant multimodal projects;
- $1 billion per year for the TIFIA Program and a $4 billion increase in the highway or surface transportation freight facility Private Activity Bond cap;
- Elimination of the prohibition on tolling existing Interstate segments; and
- Enhancement of MAP-21 project delivery reforms.
Read the full ARTBA report on the Obama Administration proposal.