Members of Congress are already seizing on the moment of rebuilding to re-enter a bipartisan bill to stimulate infrastructure development through public-private partnerships. The Building United States Infrastructure and Leveraging Development (BUILD) Act, introduced on the floor by Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), will encourage road, bridge, rail, and freight improvement projects.
By the end of 2020, all of the private activity bonds (PABs), which allow state or local governments to issue tax-exempt debt for qualified highway or surface freight transfer facilities, had been issued and allocated by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The BUILD Act would double the statutory cap f rom $15 billion to $30 billion, allowing more state and local governments to improve their communities through public-private partnerships. In comparison to the previous version of the bill, this new release raises the cap on PABs much more significantly and includes clarifying language on the use of bonds that maintain strong labor standards.
This will most likely be the first in a series of infrastructure bills as the new administration starts to work with Congress on the Build Back Better Recovery Plan. By 2025, there will be a funding gap of more than $1.1 trillion for the infrastructure and repairs needed for roads, bridges, tunnels, and transit across the country. This bill is a great first start to addressing the ongoing need for improvements to transit infrastructure and increasing the amount of public-private partnership opportunities. We have previously written about the time being right for federal infrastructure legislation and how it could impact South Florida.