Learning from State-Level Infrastructure Banks

The idea of a federal infrastructure bank has been developing for years, and some say it may be the best way to ensure the country is able to build and repair its necessary infrastructure. But a review of state-level banks shows room for improvement.

According to this article rom Yonah Freemark at The Atlantic Cities, more than 30 states have infrastructure banks, and their success rates vary.

"A review of the current work of state infrastructure banks, though, raises the question of whether state governments are ready to significantly expand their infrastructure banks.

Consider the experience of five state infrastructure banks in Florida, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Total investments have ranged from $60 million in Oregon to $1.1 billion in Florida, which are about a decade old on average. In the case of Pennsylvania, which has had a bank since 1998 and loaned a total of $132 million in 13 years, a $1 billion allocation from Washington such as has been suggested by Senator Wyden would represent a rapid eight-fold increase in spending.

The limited funding from state infrastructure banks thus far results from a confluence of supply and demand. One example - Pennsylvania's bank currently receives up to $30 million annually from the state budget, according to the agency. Hugh McGowan, the manager of the state bank, says that "it is a very popular program" but that annual applications had never reached $30 million."

Thanks to Nate Berg

Full Story: How to Pay for America's Infrastructure

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