A report issued by a Washington think tank is noting what it calls a historic low level of state spending on infrastructure projects, and urging across-the-board spending increases.
That report, It’s Time for States to Invest in Infrastructure, by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, says that not only is the current level of state infrastructure investment below its pre-Great Recession levels, but that its share of the Gross Domestic Product, at just under 2 percent, is at its lowest point since the early 1980s.
“The condition of roads, bridges, schools, water treatment plants, and other physical assets greatly influences the economy’s ability to function and grow,” says the report, adding that “commerce requires well-maintained roads, railroads, airports, and ports so that manufacturers can obtain raw materials and parts and deliver finished products to consumers.”
According to the most recent statistics compiled by the Center, capital spending as a share of total state spending is at 8.6 percent in Arizona, 11.8 percent in Colorado; 8.9 percent in New Mexico; and 13.3 percent in Texas.
By increasing infrastructure spending now, the report adds, states will be acting in an environment of decreased debt loads, while also taking advantage of interest payments on debts that are at a historic low.
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