President Donald Trump is expected to announce in tonight’s State of the Union address $200 billion in federal funding for infrastructure and other projects. But one PAC that opposes Nashville’s transit plan says that is not necessarily good news for Mayor Megan Barry.
Politico reports the president had promised a $1 trillion, 10-year blueprint to rebuild American roads, railroads, bridges and airports. State, local and private investors would have to cough up more money than normally would be the case under the president’s proposal.
“Instead of the grand, New Deal-style public works program that Trump’s eye-popping price tag implies, Democratic lawmakers and mayors fear the plan would set up a vicious, zero-sum scramble for a relatively meager amount of federal cash — while forcing cities and states to scrounge up more of their own money, bringing a surge of privately financed toll roads, and shredding regulations in the name of building projects faster,” Politico says.
The administration says $200 billion is not a large amount for such a plan but adds it would draw state, local and private funds. In addition to land transportation infrastructure, identified possible projects include rural broadband service, veterans hospitals and commercial spaceflight. The White House is not expected to give full details for two to four weeks, Politico reports.
NoTax4Tracks, a PAC that opposes the Let’s Move Nashville Transit Improvement Plan, points out in a press release that Barry calls for using $1.5 billion in federal funds to construct light rail and enhance bus service.
“Are we getting preachy on this?” the organization says in the press release. “We are. The city refuses to talk about how they will make up for not getting federal dollars. In fact, the city hates talking about any specific of the light rail plan.
“So, as we go into to the first day of this week and more public forums, it’s time to start asking the hard questions. How are you going to find $1.5-billion more and pay for it?
“How are you going to guarantee there will no be cost overruns? How do you justify bringing the highest sales tax in the country to Nashville when it hurts senior citizens and minorities the most? And, why did you not get any regional cooperation or funds from the state?”
The press release adds that anyone who wants a yard sign stating opposition to the transit plan should email email@example.com for more information.