May 16, 2012
"As the Senate-House conference on the reauthorization of the surface transportation authorization bill begins, we hope that there will be significant attention directed towards enhancing the capacity of states and localities to attract new and expanded sources of investment capital. Unfortunately, while federal dollars for infrastructure are declining, the demand to fund projects to maintain, restore, and improve our current system is growing. We urge you to eliminate federal barriers to state and metropolitan flexibility and innovation, in raising investment capital and in generating revenues...
"In the current era of severely constrained investment resources for surface transportation at all levels of government, states and metropolitan regions should be afforded greater flexibility to fund and finance their transportation facilities and networks. Congress does not seem inclined to raise funding for surface transportation through increasing federal motor fuels taxes or by replacing those taxes with other dedicated funding. In the absence of new funding sources, at a minimum, Congress should provide states and metropolitan regions with the tools to develop and expand their potential sources of revenue and investment capital. To that end, federal barriers to state innovation and flexibility should be substantially reduced, and no new ones should be erected."
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National Transportation Policy Project