Sens. John Hoeven (R-ND) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) recently re-introduced their Move America Act to expand the availability of tax-exempt bonds and create a new tax credit, bringing more private capital into infrastructure and giving states more flexibility to pursue infrastructure projects. The legislation creates Move America Bonds, expanding private activity bonds, which encourage private entities to invest in infrastructure. Similar to municipal bonds, private activity bonds are issued by state or local governments and are tax-exempt, which lowers their borrowing costs. While municipal bond revenue goes to the issuing government, private activity bonds provide financing for qualified private projects. Under the Move America Act, each state would receive a bond allocation, based on population size. The legislation also creates Move America Credits and allows smaller states to trade in some or all of their bond allocation for federal tax credits. Credits would be available for direct investment in projects and could be used to capitalize state infrastructure banks or other infrastructure revolving funds. Together, the Move America Bonds and Credits would give state and local governments another tool to bring in badly needed infrastructure funding.
ASCE’s President Norma Jean Mattei PH.D., P.E. said about the legislation:
“The nation’s ‘D+’ infrastructure, as graded in the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, is the result of insufficient investment. Move America brings together the federal, state, and local governments, and private capital to narrow the nation’s infrastructure investment gap to improve our nation’s infrastructure, which currently costs every American family $3,400 a year in lost disposable income.”