Linda Bailey, Executive Director of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), issued the following statement in response to the White House’s infrastructure principles (pdf) and proposed FY 2019 budget (pdf).
It is impossible to square President Trump’s stated desire to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure with his proposal released today. The White House released a “1.5 trillion” plan that is largely smoke and mirrors—funding a minuscule 13% of the stated need, with funds taken from some of our country’s most successful infrastructure programs, New Starts and TIGER. The rules of a new incentive program seem to be plucked from thin air, with funds raised more than 3 years prior to inception arbitrarily disallowed from a local match. At the same time, return on investment, the measure used for evaluating investments by most corporations, is a side note, weighted at 5 percent.
In recent years, NACTO’s member cities have led the way on transportation, both raising funds at the ballot box and executing visionary projects. New legislation that capitalizes on these efforts at the state and local level should reward those efforts, not penalize them, while creating more reliability for existing transportation infrastructure programs. A serious proposal for a decade-long investment strategy should start by ensuring the future of the Highway Trust Fund, now set to go bankrupt by 2020, follow through on policies passed in the bipartisan FAST Act in 2015, and provide real new funding to support cities as they work to keep up with rapid population and economic growth.
About the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO)
NACTO is an association of 59 major North American cities and eight transit agencies formed to exchange transportation ideas, insights, and practices and cooperatively approach national transportation issues.
For Immediate Release
February 12, 2018