Deficit Commission Proposal Provides Needed, Fiscally Responsible Investments in Aging Roads, Bridges & Transit Systems in North Carolina

Dec 03, 2010, 08:00 ET from Carolinas Associated General Contractors

Decision to Raise User Fees Will Protect Taxpayers and Help Cut Deficit While Providing Needed Boost for U.S. Businesses, Shippers and Consumers, Construction Groups Say

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 3, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform has released a comprehensive plan to address the nation's runaway deficit and upgrade our critical transportation infrastructure. Both Carolinas AGC (Associated General Contractors) and the ARTBA (American Road & Transportation Builders Association) Chapter of the Carolinas support this proposal because it delivers critical resources that will create jobs and facilitate economic growth in our communities.

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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.

"The Commission's plan makes the tough choices and identifies critical priorities that will help get our nation's economic and fiscal house in order. We urge Sens. Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr, and Reps. G.K. Butterfield, Bob Etheridge, Walter Jones, David Price, Virginia Foxx, Howard Coble, Mike McIntyre, Larry Kissell, Sue Myrick, Patrick McHenry, Heath Shuler, Melvin Watt, and Brad Miller to support this thoughtful proposal."

For additional information: Berry Jenkins, Director, NC Highway Division

704/372-1450 ext. 5723, bjenkins@carolinasagc.org

SOURCE Carolinas Associated General Contractors



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