Insufficient Infrastructure Funding Cited as Top Concern by 91% of Cities

In a survey by the National League of Cities, local leaders overwhelmingly cited a lack of funding as a top factor affecting infrastructure decisions.

1 minute read

May 18, 2021, 7:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Roads and Bridges

woodleywonderworks / Flickr

According to a press release from the National League of Cities, "91% of cities, towns and villages surveyed identified that insufficient funding for infrastructure is a top priority," citing a lack of funding as a top factor for infrastructure decisions. "Local governments have led the way on infrastructure for decades," says Kathy Maness, president of the National League of Cities and a councilmember in Lexington, South Carolina. "It is well beyond time to rebuild our nation’s roads, water systems, broadband and workforce. Our communities can’t keep doing it alone."

The NLC surveyed 596 local leaders to identify "top factors impacting their infrastructure decision-making." Other major factors cited by survey respondents include "lack of pre-development funds (56%), essential services (31%) and hiring workers skilled for infrastructure (27%)." Respondents "also identified the need for making infrastructure decisions through an equity lens—with nearly 20% of those surveyed identifying equity as a top factor in their decision making."

According to National League of Cities First Vice President and Mayor of Union City Georgia Vince Williams, "The needs of America’s communities, families and workers are simply not being met by the current level of funding and support from the federal government on this critical issue." The Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University estimates "$660 billion in local infrastructure needs," a number that "far exceeds city resources."

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