U.S. Senator Deb Fischer from Nebraska has introduced legislation to create an infrastructure bank to assist with funding state transportation projects. As reported by Better Roads,
The Build USA Act would give states the power to determine if their transportation projects meet federal procedural requirements, such as environmental impact and design. Then states would enter “voluntary” three-year agreements with the American Infrastructure Bank (AIB), agreements that would allow states to remit federal transportation funds not being used, apply for a loan through the AIB, or a combination of both.
Ninety percent of the remitted funds would go back to the state during the agreement period for “core” infrastructure projects, over which the state would have oversight to make sure projects meet regulations.
What’s left, 10 percent, stays in the back to be used for funding other projects and to “capitalize” the bank via interest. Loans would again only be for “core” infrastructure projects.
The Infrastructure and Global Tax Competitiveness Act would use repatriated revenue to increase infrastructure investment “by imposing a mandatory deemed repatriation tax on corporate earnings currently held overseas,” according to a news release. The repatriation tax rate for U.S. corporations would be a reduced rate of 8.75 percent if those corporations buy bonds to benefit transportation projects in the U.S.
Under the plan, tax revenue would be used to make the Highway Trust Fund, which pays for road construction and projects, solvent for six years, and it would allow for the creation of the American Infrastructure Fund, a $50 billion dollar fund that would be leveraged to finance $750 billion of transportation, water, energy and education projects.
He introduced the Partnership to Build America Act, which follows a similar concept in 2013.