COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ohio Construction Information Association (OCIA) released the following statement in response to the Deficit Commission's decision to recommend a 15-cent-per-gallon increase to the federal gas tax as part of its sensible plan to address the nation's growing fiscal imbalance:
"The Deficit Commission wisely appreciates that the best way to reduce the deficit and simultaneously support a strong and expanding economy is to invest in our aging network of highways, bridges and transit systems. Even as the broader report calls for dramatic reductions in federal spending, the commission has made clear that our country can't afford to neglect the infrastructure that has driven 50 years of economic growth and prosperity.
"Thanks to the commission's transportation proposal, thousands of employers will benefit from the reduced shipping costs, improved efficiency and greater levels of safety that a modern and effective transportation network promises. The construction industry alone loses an estimated $20 billion a year due to chronic traffic delays, safety threats and increased costs that come from our aging network of roads, bridges and transit systems.
"The proposal to raise the federal gas tax, which was last raised in 1993 to 18.4 cents/gallon, also will provide much-needed relief for Ohio's construction industry, which has lost more than 4,400 jobs over the past 12 months (October 2009-October 2010).
"Even as the impact of the commission's broader deficit reduction proposal on the health of the hard-hit construction industry remains unclear, there is no doubt that the members' transportation proposal is sound. That is why we are urging Ohio's Congressional delegation to ensure that any final plan to reduce our deficit includes the commission's wise counsel to raise the federal gas tax and bring our transportation system back to a state of good repair."
OCIA, based in Columbus, is a contingency of citizens, businesses and associations concerned about the condition of Ohio's public infrastructure system and the direct relationship it has to the state's economy. For further information on OCIA and its services, call 800.860.5511, or visit its website at www.ocianews.com.
SOURCE Ohio Construction Information Association