As reported in Governing, a Pennsylvania county recently became the first in the country to start-up an infrastructure bank. Dauphin County, home to Harrisburg, started the bank as a way to distribute its portion of the Pennsylvania’s gas tax revenue.
County leaders considered simply distributing the money to the 40 municipalities within its boundaries, but it was obvious that the sums would be so small that they wouldn’t have a real impact, says Jeff Haste, chairman of the Dauphin County Commission. County leaders, working with the state department of transportation, decided a loan fund would have a bigger impact.
Under the new program, the county’s 40 municipalities will be eligible to borrow a total of $30 million from the Dauphin County Infrastructure Bank over three years. The initial cash will come from the county’s share of state gas tax money, about $1 million, with the rest coming from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Bank.
MACo supported legislation this past session to create an infrastructure bank in Maryland to expand transportation financing options available to local governments. Although the legislation did not pass, discussion on the creation of an infrastructure bank is expected during the interim. The Blue Ribbon Commission on Maryland Transportation Funding recommended that the State assess the feasibility of creating an infrastructure bank and prepare to take advantage of any national infrastructure bank legislation.
For more information, see the full story in Governing.