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CONSTRUCTION KNOWLEDGE BLOG

November 9, 2012

US Voters Approve 75% of Bond Initiatives
Filed under: Industry outlook — Tags: — nedpelger

How people vote on state and local bond initiatives gives an indication about their economic optimism. If you’re pessimistic about the economy, you’re less likely to approve public works spending that will raise your taxes.

An ENR article today reported that 75% of the state and local bond initiatives got approved in this week’s election. The bond referendums approved $3.2B US in the states and $36B US locally (mostly for schools).

The sign below helped the passage of a $750M US higher education bill (the first one approved in 25 years).

Arkansas voters approved a temporary 1/2% state sales tax increase to improve their roads and bridges.

Michigan voters, in a very different measure, rejected a requirement that international bridges or tunnels would have to be approved by a state referendum.┬áThis odd measure was pushed by the owner of the only bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario. The Canadians offered to build the bridge at no cost to Michigan, but the existing bridge owner didn’t want to see his toll revenues drop. I love America.

Overall, though, these bond approvals sends a good message about the future of construction. Housing starts are rising through out the country and folks seem to be in a buying mood again. If you’re trying to time when to jump back into the market, this seems to be it.

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