Are Availability Payment Obligations Debt?

A common question nowadays is: Why has the US P3 market slowed down? There’s no one answer but instead a number of factors, including unexpected election results, lack of funding, untested government programs and erratic public support. Let me add one more reason to the list: Concern over government credit ratings.

When governments consider the most efficient delivery method for large scale infrastructure projects, many factors are evaluated, but the rating agency treatment of availability payments (AP)—the long term, contractually obligated payments paid if the project was available—was not a crucial factor. Governments considered the AP similar to a lease.

That view has changed.


About Bill Reinhardt

Editor of Public Works Financing newsletter
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