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Old Funding Methods Considered For New Idaho Road Projects

Matt Guilhem
Boise State Public Radio

Idaho lawmakers are gearing up to spend the final few weeks of the legislative session focused on transportation funding possibilities, including a key tool the Legislature hasn't leveraged since 2005.

Last week, Sen. Bert Brackett, a Republican from Rogerson, introduced legislation to allow the state to borrow $300 million in bonds for road projects and repay it with future federal highway payments.

Those bonds are known as "Grant Anticipation Revenue Bonds" — or GARVEE bonds. Idaho first used these bonds in 2005 to fund transportation upgrade projects throughout the state. Those projects weren't completed until 2015 and won't be paid off until 2031.

Many states use these bonds to fund transportation projects due to a lack of available cash to pay for the entire project upfront.