Friday, July 27, 2018

Republicans Announce $280 million Infrastructure Funding Package

Message from NDACo Executive Director, Terry Traynor regarding Republican Legislative Leaders $280 Million Infrastructure Funding Package

As many of you may know, numerous Republican legislators unveiled a major infrastructure funding plan Thursday. This proposal shows great promise and addresses many of the concerns we have been hearing from you for several years. NDACo was allowed to have input in this proposal, which looks like it has, at this time, great legislative support.


This plan would put in place a long-term funding mechanism for transportation; which is something we have worked extremely hard to advocate for. The news release below details the plan and the spreadsheet illustrates an example of how the new dollars could be allocated for “non-oil producing” counties (which are those with less than $5 million in GPT revenue).   The plan, as you will see, is based on the total (paved, gravel & bridge) needs of each county as determined through the UGPTI study.  The proposal also contains some adjustments to the way GPT revenues flow to those larger producers.


Assuming this legislation would pass, the funds likely wouldn’t hit the threshold to be distributed until late 2020. We look forward to hearing from you on this plan and developing our strategies to ensure support for infrastructure funding as we near the 2019 Legislative Session.

--- News Release below ---

Republican Legislative Leaders Propose a $280 Million Infrastructure Funding Package
Statewide funding will target cities, counties and townships
Bismarck- ND- House Majority Leader Al Carlson (R- Fargo) and Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson) today proposed a $280 million infrastructure funding package that will provide critically needing infrastructure improvements across the entire state. While funding to oil and gas producing counties and hub cities will continue, the new package would specifically target non-oil producing counties.
“The Legislature has focused many infrastructure spending priorities over the six years to the oil producing counties, and while that money was needed and well spent, this new package will focus on reducing the local tax burden so that non-oil counties can share in the benefits,” said House Majority Leader Carlson.
“This package takes a new approach to funding these needed projects across the state and is not solely based on oil price and oil production,” explains Senate Majority Leader Wardner. “We want to make sure we have a formula that is a stable way for your community leaders to plan now and in the future.”
Here’s how the new package would look:
  • Creates three new “buckets” in the state funding mechanism from oil taxes
    • $115 million County/Township Infrastructure Fund
    • $115 million Municipal Infrastructure Fund
    • $50 Million Airport Infrastructure Fund
The Municipal Fund and the County/Township Fund “buckets” fill simultaneously. The Airport Infrastructure funding would only begin once the aforementioned buckets have filled.
Here’s how the funds would get allocated to communities:
  • County/Township Fund ($115 million):
    • Excludes the 9 largest oil and gas producing counties
    • Provides $10,000 per township outside of the nine oil counties (capped at $15 million)
    • Remaining $100 million distributed to remaining counties based on needs determined by the Upper Great Plans Transportation Institute
  • Municipal Infrastructure Fund ($115 million)
    • Provides $30 million in base funding to communities with a population over 1,000 to be paid out once $30 million is reached.
    • Remaining $85 million will be paid when filled once based on:
      • A funding formula based on a previous year’s census, a 3-year average of population growth and a 3-year average of taxable valuation change
  • Airport Infrastructure Fund ($50 million)
    • Awards grants to be administered by the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission
Legislative leaders are also discussing the possibility of using Legacy Fund earnings to expand the existing infrastructure loan program.