America has an infrastructure problem. Residents in Flint, Michigan, still can’t drink water from their faucets. Last week, damage to the country’s tallest dam forced the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people in Northern California.
We aren’t investing enough in the foundation of our society and a clean, healthy future. State and local spending on roads, bridges, schools, water treatment plants, and other infrastructure is at a 30-year low. Federal infrastructure spending has fallen by half over the past 35 years. Washington spends around six times more on the military.
Trump thinks he can get one over on the American people. His infrastructure plan is nothing more than privatization with a tax break on top. Even congressional Republicans are starting to voice concerns.
A few weeks ago, we released a guide to understanding and evaluating the deals at the heart of Trump’s plan. “Public-private partnerships” tap private investors to finance—and often operate and maintain—infrastructure projects. There’s plenty to be wary of—the public often loses control, transparency, and revenue for decades. Just ask Chicago. Or Texas. Or Indiana. Or Washington, D.C.
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As anti-tax politicians continue to starve public budgets, many state and local governments are turning to risky public-private partnerships to fill the infrastructure spending gap.
Understanding and Evaluating Infrastructure Public-Private Partnerships includes a list of key questions you can raise with policymakers to make sure projects meet your community’s needs. What are the long-term impacts on our city’s budget? How many jobs will be created, will they be local, and what will the wages and benefits be?
Get in touch if you have questions or need help evaluating a project in your community.
We’ve got a lot of things to build and repair—let’s make sure our voices are heard loud and clear in the process.
We’d love to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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