By Jill Penley
According to the annual report recently released by the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR), the state needs at least $54.8 billion worth of public infrastructure improvements during the five-year period of July 2018 to June 2023, which is a 9.7 percent increase from last year’s report. More than $3.7 billion of this year’s increase is attributable to increases in the need for transportation and utility infrastructure.
The $575 million increase in needed improvements for education infrastructure is the second-largest among the infrastructure categories in this year’s inventory. Most of this increase resulted from the $395 million increase in needed improvements at institutions of higher education across the state, while the need for renovations to existing public K-12 schools increased $242 million. Some of the need for additions and improvements to existing space at public K-12 schools are caused by the condition of existing schools. Although local school officials rated just under 11.5% of public K-12 schools (198) in Tennessee to be in fair or poor condition, 182 of those schools need improvements to existing space and account for 48.2% of the total estimated cost for improving existing space.
Estimated cost was also up in three categories—health, safety, and welfare ($208 million); recreation and culture ($206 million); and general government ($195 million). Reported needs decreased in one category—economic development, which was down $65 million compared to last year.
Total estimated costs
for current infrastructure needs fall into six
•Transportation and Utilities: $29.6 billion
•Education: $14.2 billion
•Health, Safety, and Welfare: $7.6 billion
•Recreation and Culture: $2.1 billion
•Economic Development: $300 million
The report indicates 86 needed projects in Johnson County at an estimated cost of over $150 million. The revenues necessary to finance state government are collected from a variety of sources. The primary source of funding for state expenditures is appropriation from general revenues, which are collected through taxes, licenses, fees, fines, forfeitures, and other imposts laid specifically by law. Sales tax is the largest source of revenue for the state of Tennessee.
For each county, the report includes one-page summaries, which list the estimated cost for all types of needed infrastructure in each county by stage of development, highlight the top three types of infrastructure improvements needed in each county based on the total estimated cost, and provide comparisons of the infrastructure needed at public school systems to student enrollment.
The full report is available on TACIR’s web site at www.tn.gov/tacir/infrastructure/infrastructure-reports-/infrastructure-needs-2018-2023.html.
For more information, contact Dave Keiser, Project Manager, at [email protected] or 615.253.4237.