The Build NC Bond Act of 2018 is on its way to the Governor’s desk. Yesterday, the House passed Senate Bill 758: Build NC Bond Act of 2018 in a 94-23 vote and last week, the Senate passed the bill unanimously. These bipartisan votes are a major step forward in securing the funds needed to meet our state’s growing transportation infrastructure demands.
Over the course of the next two decades, Texas, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina will account for 50% of the nation’s total population growth. Given North Carolina’s meteoric growth, it’s imperative that our state’s transportation infrastructure improvements can keep pace to support it. Unfortunately, over the next 10 years, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) will only have funds available for 17% of the state’s needed transportation projects. This, while at the same time, 57% of the revenue currently used to fund infrastructure projects will decline due to the state’s heavy reliance on the diminishing motor fuels tax.
It is because of these financing challenges that the Build NC Bond Act of 2018 is so critical to our state’s future. Modeled after the successful federal GARVEE program, Build NC will create an alternative financing mechanism that will allow NCDOT to leverage existing transportation financing capacity through a state GARVEE program. This program will benefit the divisional and regional level financing buckets of Strategic Transportation Investments (STI), helping NCDOT complete crucial projects already underway and ultimately, increase the number of projects delivered. This new financing tool will be especially important to North Carolina’s rural areas, as it will make resources available for smaller but equally important projects through a financing tool rural North Carolina has never had access to before.
As our connection to the modern global economy, North Carolina’s transportation infrastructure networks are integral components of our state’s competitive future. We are pleased North Carolina’s legislative leaders are taking the necessary steps to diversify North Carolina’s revenue streams to tackle the pressing transportation infrastructure projects we desperately need completed. North Carolina can’t afford to wait.
Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs