At a transportation summit organized by the Weld County Commissioners, Washington DC consultants suggested that a state infrastructure tax credit should be one part of Colorado’s “ultimate solution.” The credit is modeled after the Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit and would create new sources of private financing without debt.
Steve Gordon, a former fundraiser who worked for Sen. Cory Gardner, said taxpayers form investor management entities that bid to finance infrastructure projects to which the state allocates a portion of tax credits out of a pool of credits. The investor, whether an individual, an LLC or a corporate entity, gets a steady rate of return on the investment that is higher than bonds and measured by the amount of the investor’s share of tax credits.
The state government gets new sources of private funds without incurring debt. It doesn’t eliminate the ability to use state or federal government funding because it can be combined with financing or grants. The credit rewards investors through a tax credit rather than a monetary return dependent on commercial viability (such as toll lane?).
Gordon says the idea is already in use in Arizona. This seems like an idea that should be given further consideration. In this era, it seems that successful highway projects can only be accomplished using a patchwork of funding sources.