Mayors’ Infrastructure Priorities for the 116th Congress

Mayors’ Infrastructure Priorities for the 116th Congress2019-02-06T19:41:38+00:00

1. Transportation Infrastructure

Raise Federal Capital Investment in the Nation’s Airports ($35 Billion)

  • Adjust the cap on Passenger Facility Charges or PFCs: Raise the PFC cap – last adjusted nearly 20 years ago – to accelerate airport expansion/modernization projects, including terminals, an action that would generate additional capital for airport investment at no cost to the federal government.
  • Double federal AIP funding: Direct additional $3.5 billion annually over ten years to the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program (AIP), doubling existing federal grant commitments to airport capital projects.

Spend Down Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Balances (Budget Adjustment of $12+ Billion)

  • Appropriate all Trust Fund revenues collected each year: Spend all federal cargo fees collected and deposited into the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund each year to increase investment in qualifying harbor/channel projects.
  • Expend the nearly $9+ Billion in Trust Fund balances to accelerate needed port improvements, with emphasis on resiliency, security, energy, environment, port modernization, and port-related transportation projects.

Secure and Grow Highway Trust Fund and Direct More Funds to Local Areas ($400 Billion)

  • Dedicate additional revenues to the Highway Trust Fund to eliminate the current shortfall and grow future commitments: Commit new revenues to eliminate the current Trust Fund deficit (≈ $180 Billion) and provide for program growth ($220 billion) over the next decade to reduce the investment gap in surface transportation, including additional commitments to passenger and freight rail transportation which must be part of a broader strategy to reduce emissions in the transportation sector.
  • Affirm existing law provisions empowering local and state leaders and their agencies to invest in a broad mix of qualifying mobility solutions (e.g., roads/streets, bridges, transit, rail, bicycling, walking and technology), preserving program funding flexibility, further incentivizing investments that curb emissions in the transportation sector, placing greater emphasis on hardening existing transportation facilities and networks to respond to changing climate conditions and providing new funding incentives to advance innovations in the transportation sector and facilitate investment in new and emerging technologies.
  • Direct more funding to local areas under the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program: Raise the share of STBG funds allocated to local areas to ensure that a larger share of transportation dollars are returned to local markets for locally-selected surface transportation priorities.

2. Water Infrastructure

Modernize America’s Water and Wastewater Systems ($125 Billion)

  • Raise SRF grants substantially: Divide $92 billion evenly between drinking water and sewer/wastewater; distributing all new funding through existing SRF formulas; provide 50 percent of the new funds as grants (or as much as 100 percent) to be targeted to disadvantaged communities for improvements including projects and programs addressing lead in drinking water; at least 30 percent of the new funds in the form of no-interest loans; and eliminate the current local/state matching fund requirement.
  • Provide new funding for Technical Assistance for Cybersecurity and Resiliency: Direct $12 billion in grants to local government to undertake planning/feasibility studies and capital investments to combat cybersecurity threats and to improve system resiliency from natural disasters.
  • Reduce the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers backlog: Direct $21 billion in new funding to attack the growing backlog of flood protection and levee improvement projects.

3. Energy Infrastructure

Restore Funding to Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grant Program ($50 Billion)

  • Allocate grants by formula directly to cities, counties, states and tribal governments for EECBG-eligible projects/activities, including energy retrofits of public buildings, LED lighting and solar energy systems.
  • Authorize use of these grants for local feasibility/planning studies to deploy solar energy systems and wind energy systems more broadly to serve municipal sector and local area energy consumption.
  • Authorize use of these grants for energy assurance strategies designed to limit or mitigate interruption of vital energy networks and services due to natural disasters and to protect micro grids, distributed energy systems and local energy networks from cybersecurity threats.

4. Community Infrastructure

Fully Fund the New Brownfields Law to Support Economic Development ($10 Billion)

  • Raise local Brownfields funding substantially: Start with fully funding the recently-reauthorized Brownfields Law at $250 million annually, followed by a commitment to direct $1 billion annually in additional funding for grants to support environmental assessments, cleanups, and multipurpose grants to assist in the redevelopment of the estimated 400,000 – 600,000 Brownfields throughout the U.S.

Raise CDBG Funding to Accelerate Community Infrastructure Investment ($100 Billion)

  • Raise CDBG funding substantially: In addition to providing baseline funding of $3.8 billion annually, direct $10 billion annually in additional Community Development Block Grant resources to bolster federal commitments to local areas to priority community infrastructure projects, and addressing the more than $100 billion shortfall in CDBG spending over the last 35 years due to failure to fund the program at inflation-adjusted levels.

5. Tax Incentives for Infrastructure Investment

Revise Tax Law to Allow Advance Refunding of Tax-Exempt Bonds ($30 Billion)

  • Restore advance refunding of tax-exempt municipal bonds: Restore advanced refunding authority to allow cities (and other local and state governments) to save significant amounts on their borrowing costs, which means public borrowers can reinvest these savings in infrastructure projects.
  • Provide local and state governments the ability, through advance refunding of municipal bonds, to use these savings for reinvestment in airports, schools, hospitals and other infrastructure projects. (In 2016 alone, the advance refunding of more than $120 billion of municipal securities saved taxpayers at least $3 billion.)
    Extend Renewable Energy Tax Credits, Provide Tax Credit for Energy Storage ($187 Billion)
  • Extend the renewable electricity production tax credit, including solar, wind and other renewable energy technologies, and extend the business energy tax credit ($137 billion).
  • Establish a tax credit for energy storage systems to enhance energy reliability and renewable energy development ($50 billion).