The Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) delivered letters to the nation’s 50 state governors, highlighting the importance of transportation infrastructure projects and encouraging them to refrain from decreases in planned investments.
In the letter, AED’s President and CEO Brian P. McGuire acknowledges the difficult budget decisions facing states due to the COVID-19 pandemic but stresses the importance of continuing road and bridge projects despite revenue shortfalls.
“Infrastructure investment is exactly the type of government spending that should continue unimpeded as your state continues to deal with COVID-19 and recovers from the resulting economic fallout,” McGuire said. “Roads and bridges are critical to public safety and commerce, and their upgrade and repair should be prioritized.”
In addition to its economic benefits, McGuire also highlighted that infrastructure spending is truly an investment. Citing an AED-commissioned report by researchers at the College of William & Mary, McGuire wrote, “Beyond encouraging economic activity, infrastructure investment also produces revenue for state and local governments. Over 20 years, one dollar in aggregate infrastructure spending generates $0.96 in taxes. Each dollar invested in highways and streets returns approximately $0.35 in tax revenue over two decades, of which $0.12 accrues at the state and local level.”
AED’s effort to push governors to continue funding transportation infrastructure projects coincides with the association’s activities in Washington, D.C., to seek aid for state Departments of Transportation, which are in difficult financial situations due to lack of gas tax receipts and other revenue streams. Additionally, AED continues to advocate for a long-term, fully-funded surface transportation bill.