SOURCE: AEM | February 17, 2020
The hearing brought together experts from diverse backgrounds, including Joung Lee, Director of Policy and Government Relations, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials; Dr. Philip Fischer, Founder, eBooleant Consulting LLC, and Former Head of Fixed Income and Municipal Bond Strategy, Global Banking & Markets, Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Laura L. Canter, Executive Vice President and Division Director of the Finance Programs Division, Massachusetts Development Finance Agency; Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Transportation; and DJ Gribbin, Founder, Madrus LLC and former Special Assistant to the President for Infrastructure Policy.
During the course of the hearing several proposals for increasing revenues for infrastructure were floated including fuel tax increases, bonding, public-private partnerships, and vehicle miles traveled taxes. While there was little consensus on the precise manner in which to fund infrastructure projects, there was a broad appetite to come to a bipartisan agreement.
AEM continues to promote an inclusive approach to funding infrastructure to Congress and the Trump Administration. Throughout the 116th Congress, AEM has promoted a number of bipartisan legislative proposals that would positively impact the ability of the federal government to build and maintain infrastructure assets if enacted including H.R. 2440, Full Utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Act which would ensure that funds for maintaining harbors are used for solely that purpose instead of being used to hide the size of the budget deficit and also ensures that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will have access to the $34 billion over the next ten years to ensure that all of our commercial harbors are dredged to constructed widths and depths and that those dimensions can be maintained; H.R. 3791, Investing in America: Rebuilding America’s Airport Infrastructure Act which would lift the cap on the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) to allow airports to locally determine the rate based on individual airport infrastructure needs; and S. 146 / H.R. 1508, Move America Act of 2019 which creates a bond program and a tax credit to encourage private investment in infrastructure funding.
As discussions to move forward, AEM will continue to work with members of Congress and their staff to ensure that the needs of equipment manufacturers are accounted for in any infrastructure funding proposal.
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