Task force issues dire warnings for DelDOT construction funds if problems are not addressed.
After a five month review, the Transportation Trust Fund Task Force has determined that current revenue streams will only cover about 70% of DelDOT’s estimated spending over the next decade and beyond. Task force member Paul Morrill summed up the severity of the problem, “I was surprised to learn that we will have no money for 100% state funded projects as early as next year and that by 2017 we will have no money for any projects beyond the core program. This is not a long term problem, but an immediate one.”
If the revenue problem isn’t corrected, the task force says there will be an “accelerated deterioration of Delaware’s transportation infrastructure.”
The task force has developed a list of suggested solutions to the financial challenges facing the Trust Fund. Morrill says, “The Task Force report makes it clear that doing nothing is not an option.” The group’s suggestions include:
-Transferring DelDOT operating costs from the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) back to the General Fund over an extended period of time;
-Transit fees and greater general fund support for para transit;
-Increasing one or more of the traditional trust fund revenue sources, which include tolls, gas taxes, and DMV fees;
-Creating new fees payable by the general public and/or the users of the public infrastructure or Department services;
-Increasing the TTF borrowing, thereby requiring less new revenues;
-Decreasing the TTF borrowing, thereby requiring more new revenues;
-Using one or more techniques of innovative transportation financing (like a lease concession on existing or future toll roads) with “appropriate oversight” of any proposed transaction by executive and legislative leaders.