A Nevada arm of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has issued an assessment of Nevada infrastructure—transportation, schools, water (flood control, wastewater treatment, dams), solid waste and aviation. It gave the state a mediocre grade and, not surprisingly, its findings come back to a problem facing the upcoming Nevada Legislature—the state's tax system.
“Numerous Nevada cities are now victims of legislation meant to protect residents during the high growth years. During the boom years, property values skyrocketed, but the state legislated a 3 percent per year cap on property taxes to protect residents from excessive tax increases. With the improving economy, the population of cities has returned to prerecession levels and greater, but the tax cap has kept property tax revenue 40 percent to 50 percent below needed levels. To meet the transportation funding shortfalls, Nevada has embraced alternative funding and delivery methods such as Design-Build, Construction Management at Risk (CMAR) and Public Private Partnerships (PPP) to stretch funding.”
The report can be read at http://tinyurl.com/ls736od.
According to one line of thought, states have fallen behind in keeping infrastructure up to date because they have diverted resources previously used for that purpose into subsidies to lure new business (“Shakedown,” RN&R, Sept, 11).