More Money, More Tons, More Production Equipment
There’s renewed talk—and renewed hope—for an injection of monies to the transportation and infrastructure industry from the new administration. The Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) released a statement March 31 breaking down the key components of the “American Jobs Plan” and how it’s supposed to be funded:
- $621 billion for transportation, including roads, bridges, transit, ports and airports as well as electrifying vehicles
- $111 billion to upgrade drinking and wastewater infrastructure
- $100 billion for high-speed broadband infrastructure
- $100 billion to upgrade the U.S. power infrastructure
- $213 billion to “produce, preserve, and retrofit affordable and sustainable places to live”
- $137 billion for physical upgrades to public schools, community colleges, child-care facilities, VA hospitals and federal buildings
- $300 billion to invest in U.S. manufacturing and strengthen critical supply chains
- $100 billion for workforce development and jobs training programs
- $400 billion for “expanding access to quality, affordable home- or community-based care for aging relatives and people with disabilities”
“The administration is proposing to pay-for the American Jobs Plan through a variety of tax changes targeted to corporations, including increasing the corporate rate to 28 percent, creating a 15 percent minimum tax on the income corporations use to report their profits to investors (book income), eliminating tax preferences for the fossil fuel industry, greater tax liability on U.S. multinational corporations and more robust IRS tax enforcement.
“Of course, this is merely the Biden-Harris administration’s infrastructure plan. Ultimately, it will be up to lawmakers in Congress to draft legislation and settle on funding mechanisms. Stay tuned to AED for further information as the process moves forward.”
Kip Eideberg, the senior vice president of government and industry relations for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), stated on that same day the association is ready to work with the president in making bold investments in workforce and infrastructure development. “At the same time, we strongly urge him to make sure that we preserve the predictability and stability in the tax code that keeps equipment manufacturers competitive and drives job creation and good wages. Tax reform made equipment manufacturers more competitive in the global economy. It is imperative that we do not undo that progress.”
Later that evening, the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) President and CEO Michael Johnson issued a statement that should encourage asphalt and aggregate producers alike: “NSSGA will continue to fight to make sure that any infrastructure package rightly prioritizes surface transportation and provides significant long-term investment, including a fix to the Highway Trust Fund.”
While industry associations call on each of us to participate at a grassroots level in communicating these messages to our representatives, we still have day-to-day work to accomplish. We’re still making asphalt pavement mix to create long-lasting roadways and pavement repairs. Even a pandemic with a range of political reactions couldn’t stop an industry as essential as ours.
According to a mid-March press release from the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), state governments leveraged $29 billion in federal funds to advance $70 billion in highway improvements during fiscal year (FY) 2020. That’s only federal data talking about 22,000 highway projects that moved forward last year. Consider the number of local, private and other projects contractors were scrambling to complete as construction season drew to a wintery end—projects alluded to in articles in this publication—and we see that work is waiting for 2021 to catch up.
Take a look over the next few links at the plant and production OEMs and service providers who are poised to assist you in meeting the demands of the 2021 construction season. No matter how the funding trickles down to your specific bend in the road, these companies are prepared to discuss enhancing your bottom line to meet the challenges around the asphalt industry.