The Treasurer's office is dedicated to investing and financing a transportation system that keeps everyone moving. It is our responsibility to fund transportation projects across the state in a way that avoids impairing our capacity for financing future improvements in schools and other public infrastructure projects. That includes determining what an appropriate level of debt is. As the state reduces its consumption of fossil fuels, we will also need to diminish our reliance on fossil fuels as a revenue source.
One of the primary functions of the Treasurer's office is the issuance of bonds. The OST issues a variety of bonds including motor vehicle excise tax and general obligation bonds. The revenue from these bonds finances transportation projects and capital projects across our state.
The State Treasurer is charged with ensuring that the state's debt financing achieve the lowest possible cost for the long-term needs for the taxpayers. The state is developing financing plans for several multi-billion dollar projects. Tolling is most effective when used to finance the transportation system within a corridor, not individual projects or facilities. For example, it would be important, in the cross-lake corridor, to have the capacity to toll both the 520 and I-90 bridges to finance improvement on either bridge.
- Early tolling saves interest costs, yields better revenue estimates, and ultimately helps lower financing costs.
- Measures that enhance the predictability of toll revenues and reduce their volatility will result in lower financing costs and better protects the state's credit rating.
- Effective corridor tolling can help mitigate congestion, prevent traffic diversion, and avoid piecemeal tolling that can result in higher tolls, construction costs, administrative costs, and traffic delays due to a poorly coordinated transportation system.
By establishing and applying these guidelines, we can create a consistent and rational system for transportation funding. This approach will achieve the maximum value for the public's tax dollars.