WEF Joins Water Associations in Advocating for WIFIA Fix in Highway Bill

December 28, 2015

Laws & Regs

The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) and other water associations are advocating for a change in a federal surface transportation reauthorization bill. The change would remove a funding restriction in the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program.

A 2014 law forbids using tax-exempt financing as part of water infrastructure projects that use WIFIA loans. The legislation that was passed by Congress in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) of 2014 to create the WIFIA program stipulates that WIFIA can only finance up to 49% of a total project cost and the remaining 51% cannot come from a tax-exempt source.

The U.S. Senate passed the surface transportation reauthorization bill in July with section 15003, which will allow for projects that receive WIFIA financing to use tax-exempt financing as well as other forms of financing for the remaining 51% of a projects financing.

WEF and other water associations sent a letter to the U.S. House and Senate Conference committee leaders requesting that section 15003 be included in the final surface transportation reauthorization bill.

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