links for 2011-08-05

  • “Taxes are the price we pay for civilization.”
  • Policymakers that promote new toll roads and the leasing of existing toll roads as public-private partnerships might be quick to champion this approach as a way to fill the infrastructure funding gap in the U.S. But the DOT’s own Office of Inspector General says the PPP method does very little to fill that funding gap.

    For starters, public-private partnerships don’t really bring in “new” money, they merely call for healthy sum to be paid up front…Notably, PPPs cost more than traditional public financing. This is because private entities pay more in taxes than public entities do, and private entities seek higher rates of return than public forms of financing do. In addition, the longer the term of the agreement…the more disadvantages there are to the public, the authors stated…PPPs can overcome these cost disadvantages, and one of the preferred methods is through toll increases. But as the public knows, if the tolls get too high, the benefit of using the roadway diminishes….