Both the Carolinas AGC (Associated General Contractors) and the ARTBA (American Road & Transportation Builders Association) Chapter of the Carolinas support the transportation proposal recently released by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. The comprehensive plan addresses the nation’s runaway deficit while delivering critical resources that will create jobs and facilitate economic growth in our communities.
Jim Triplett, CEO of United Infrastructure Group and Chair of Carolinas AGC’s Highway Division, notes, “The commission’s transportation plan- including recommending a 15 cent increase to the federal gas tax as part of its plan to address the country’s growing fiscal imbalance– is fiscally responsible and builds on the long-established principle of ensuring only those that benefit from this system contribute to its upkeep through a user fee.
“The state of North Carolina faces significant transportation challenges. For example, a funding gap of at least $29 billion over the next 25 years exists and it’s expected to broaden if state and federal funding continues to decline. While thirty-one percent of North Carolina’s 18,182 highway bridges are considered structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, causing traffic congestion and placing local communities at risk by forcing ambulances, fire trucks and school buses to take lengthy detours because of weight limitations.”
The federal motor fuels tax generates revenues that are invested in highway and public transportation improvements. This tax, however, has not been adjusted since 1993 and has lost one-third of its purchasing power over the last 17 years, says ARTBA.
According to Triplett, “Our country needs Congress to focus on creating jobs and reducing the deficit. To help achieve these goals, North Carolina needs a strong transportation system in order to rebuild our economy. The Commission’s proposal will provide job creation and deficit reduction while also rebuilding our crumbling transportation system to provide for long term U.S. competitiveness.”