A SENATE BILL WOULD ALLOW TAX-EXEMPT FINANCING FOR US HIGHWAY PROJECTS

A SENATE BILL WOULD ALLOW TAX-EXEMPT FINANCING FOR US HIGHWAY PROJECTS

May 01, 1999

Senators John Chafee (R.-R.I.) and Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D.-N.Y.) introduced a bill recently to allow up to $15 billion in tax-exempt financing for as many as 15 highway projects selected by the US Department of Transportation as suitable pilot projects. Chafee is the ranking republican on the Senate Finance Committee. Moynihan is the ranking democrat. The bonds would not be subject to state “volume caps,” or limits on the volume of tax-exempt bonds that states can issue each year to finance private projects.

To qualify, a project would have to involve construction or reconstruction of a highway. The highway would have to serve the general public. It would have to be located on publicly-owned rights of way, and it would either have to be publicly-owned or ownership would have to revert eventually to the public.

UTILITY ASSET DIVESTITURES MAY HAVE THE EFFECT OF INCREASING PROPERTY TAXES for independent power projects.

Edison Mission Energy won an auction to buy the Unicom assets in Illinois for just over $4.8 billion. Lobbyists for Commonwealth Edison are now urging that a cap of 20% be imposed on increases in assessed values for other generating facilities in the state.