Tennessee Officials Want Taxpayer Money for More Infrastructure

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A state agency is calling upon taxpayers to put up $54.8 billion for new public infrastructure in Tennessee.

This, according to a new report the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations put out this week.

“Tennessee needs at least $54.8 billion worth of public infrastructure improvements during the five-year period of July 2018 to June 2023—a $4.8 billion (9.7 percent) increase from the year before—according to a new report by the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR),” according to a press release.

“More than $3.7 billion of this year’s increase is attributable to increases in the need for transportation and utilities infrastructure, the fourth year in a row the estimated cost of needs for this category has increased. This increase in needed infrastructure for transportation and utilities resulted primarily from road projects being developed as part of the Improve Act.”

The $575 million increase in needed improvements for education infrastructure is the second largest among the infrastructure categories in this year’s inventory, the TACIR press release went on to say.

“Most of this increase resulted from the $395 million increase in needed improvements at institutions of higher education across the state, while the need for renovations to existing public K-12 schools increased $242 million. Some of the need for additions and improvements to existing space at public K-12 schools are caused by the condition of existing schools,” the TACIR press release said.

“Although local school officials rated just under 11.5 percent of public K-12 schools (198) in Tennessee to be in fair or poor condition, 182 of those schools need improvements to existing space and account for 48.2 percent of the total estimated cost for improving existing space.”

Estimated cost was also up in three categories—health, safety, and welfare ($208 million); recreation and culture ($206 million); and general government ($195 million). Reported needs decreased in one category—economic development, which was down $65 million compared to last year.

“Information about funding for the infrastructure needs reported in this year’s inventory indicates that 67.0 percent of the funds required to meet those needs was not available at the time the inventory was conducted, relatively unchanged from last year’s 68.6 percent,” the press release said.

“Excluding improvements needed at existing schools and those drawn from capital budget requests submitted by state agencies, neither of which includes funding information, only $13.6 billion in funding is available for the remaining $41.1 billion in needs.”

Total estimated costs for current infrastructure needs fall into six general categories:

• Transportation and Utilities: $29.6 billion

• Education: $14.2 billion

• Health, Safety, and Welfare: $7.6 billion

• Recreation and Culture: $2.1 billion

• General Government: $894 million

• Economic Development: $300 million

The full report is available on TACIR’s website.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]





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2 Thoughts to “Tennessee Officials Want Taxpayer Money for More Infrastructure”

  1. CCW

    Road builders and public works developers need to get in line behind TN Care for All and free housing, free food, free transportation, free education, for GI’s (Grifter Immigrants).

  2. James A. Mcclure

    We have to pay for Bill Lee’s Refugee hobby first. Then maybe Lee and the other RINO state reps vote for another gas tax increase. Will also need to give illegal immigrants in state tuition while we’re at it. Maybe a state income tax as well. When does Bill Lee’s spending stop?