I've often wondered if the fact that the states are more willing to sell off infrastructure to raise funds is connected to the introduction of the GST in 2000.
Now, as I understand it, the GST replaces a whole heap of sales taxes that were collected by the states themselves with one tax that is collected federally. The legislation included arrangements for some of that revenue to be distributed back to the states, but not all of it.
How much has this changed the amount of funds available in state budgets? Could this have been a motive for selling / leasing public infrastructure to raise funds.
EDIT: Just to clarify, by states here, I don't mean the United States. I mean the State Governments of Australia (New South Wales, Queensland, et al). My interest is understanding how the change in revenue structure has affected how they govern.