The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) published a Notice of discretionary grant funding through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) program. The BUILD program will replace a well known program among state and local governments as Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants. BUILD grants are available to state or local public entities such as counties, port authorities, tribal governments, Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), state Departments of Transportation, and/or transit agencies.
BUILD grants will carry on the legacy of TIGER grants, to fund the best projects that have significant local or regional impact. BUILD will continue to use federal dollars to leverage additional funding for transportation infrastructure. Traditionally hundreds of applications are received each year, which makes the grants highly competitive. One significant requirement within the application for eligible projects will be the identification of new non-federal revenue for the infrastructure project. This requirement has received criticism as many state or local jurisdictions have already implemented new revenue streams for infrastructure funding, such as a sales or gas tax increase. Real estate developers may see some proposed tax-increment financing opportunities as a source of future revenue streams.
Congress appropriated $1.5 billion for TIGER (now BUILD) grants in March 2018. These funds will be available to public entities through September 30, 2020. There will be different rounds of grant recipient notices. It is important to note that the Administration will devote at least 30 percent of funds to rural communities.