The Trump administration is set to unveil a $ 1.5 trillion infrastructure plan Monday that largely puts the bill on the shoulders of local governments.
But just $ 200 billion would actually come from the federal government — something President Trump hinted at during his State of the Union address last month.
State and city governments would pay the rest on crucial infrastructure projects, such as roads, airports and other public works.
“Taxes are one of the ways that state and local governments could raise revenues, but are certainly not the only ways,” one official said to CBS News. “They can sell bonds, use public private partnerships, create user fees, etc. We’re pretty agnostic to the way they raise revenue.”
About $ 100 billion of the federal earmark would go toward a grant program aimed at state and local governments starting plans.
Uncle Sam would match up to 20% of the costs in a given project, according to those who have been briefed on the plan.
Another $ 50 billion in federal money will be directed at projects in rural areas, with $ 20 billion for “transformative” projects, CBS News reported.
The $ 200 billion would come from cuts elsewhere in the federal budget, officials said.
The reduced federal spending is a departure from the traditional role Washington plays in developing infrastructure. Some highway projects around the country count on federal funding to be as high as 80% of the cost.
The Trump administration, speaking to reporters on background over the weekend, said the feds aren’t surrendering their role in infrastructure.
“Not only are we not walking away from the federal responsibility, we’re taking even more responsibility to ensure that we get infrastructure funding and permitting on a sustainable track for generations,” one official said.
The plan will also encourage streamlined processes to approving permits to speed along construction.
Reducing red tape has some critics concerned, however.
“President Trump’s infrastructure proposal is a disaster,” Shelley Poticha, of the Natural Resources Defense Council, told the Associated Press. “It fails to offer the investment needed to bring our country into the 21st century. Even worse, his plan includes an unacceptable corporate giveaway by truncating environmental reviews.”
Infrastructure investment was one of Trump’s campaign promises, and he was criticized by both Democrats and Republicans for not addressing it during his first year.
It’s not immediately clear how the plan could bode for the proposed Gateway Tunnel between New York and New Jersey.
Lawmakers from the states have implored Trump to stick to the Obama-era commitment to pay for half the cost in building the tunnel, which would run under the Hudson River.
With News Wire Services