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Published on Friday, January 10, 2014

Infrastructure funding coalition sets to work

On January 9, AWC hosted a meeting of the still yet to be named coalition of interests who will be working to restore funding for local infrastructure in response to actions taken by the legislature in 2013 that greatly reduced funding for the Public Works Trust Fund (PWTF, also formally known as the Public Works Assistance Account). It was an impressive showing with a vast array of interests being represented, including: cities, counties, water/sewer districts, labor, business, contractors, realtors and environmental interests.

After reviewing the impact of the cash sweep and ongoing revenue diversions away from the PWTF (see the chart below for a summary of the impacts over next two biennia), the coalition began the process of developing goals and strategy for the 2014 legislative session and beyond. It’s widely acknowledged that we’re unlikely to achieve the goal of restored funding during the short 2014 legislative session but we will be working hard to educate and identify champions in the legislature in order to lay the groundwork for success in 2015.

We do anticipate that there could be hearings on bills aimed at restoring some funding and/or reducing diversions during this session and we will be taking advantage of those opportunities to tell the story of the impact of reduced funding for the PWTF. Even without hearings we’ll be working on various avenues to make our case with legislators. If your city has a compelling story about the challenges created by loss of funding from the PWTF please share it with Dave Catterson.

Diversions from Public Works Assistance Account 2013-15 2015-17
Public Works Assistance Account (cash) $277.2 $0
All Solid Waste Tax (previously diverted
through FY 2015)
Portion of Real Estate Excise Tax $43.9 $53.5
Public Utility Tax $33.4 $34.0
Capital Budget Fund Transfers &
Revenue Redirection (to Ed Legacy)
$354.5 $129.5