Shaheen-Booker bill would aid infrastructure financing

Mweasure would allow states to sell toll credits
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New Hampshire U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey have introduced the Toll Credit Marketplace Act, which would allow states to sell toll credits for revenue that would be used toward match requirements on federally funded highway and transit projects.

The bill calls for the establishment of a marketplace for the sale and purchase of toll credits, which are accrued when states use toll revenues to invest in transportation projects that benefit the interstate system. States use them to cover the local match on federally funded highway and transit projects.

But many states have more credits than they can use, while states that do not have tolling systems lack credits. New Hampshire currently has a balance of more than $200 million in toll credits, and New Jersey has the most toll credits, $5.3 billion.

“States like New Hampshire have many transportation infrastructure needs and an abundance of federal toll credits that can’t be fully utilized,” said Shaheen. “These credits represent dollars being left on the table that could be used to fix roads, bridges and transit infrastructure.”

She said her bill “would give states an opportunity to sell these credits and invest in projects that will enhance our economy and contribute to public safety,” adding that the bill “presents an innovative path forward for Congress to support states’ investments in critical transportation infrastructure projects to make our roads safer and our economy stronger.”

The assistant commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, William Cass, said the agency would “welcome” such a measure, calling it a “win-win proposition.”

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