February 23, 2009
The final version of the $787.2 billion economic stimulus bill approved by Congress is good news for the construction industry, though certainly not a cure-all for infrastructure needs for the Carolinas. HR 1, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, includes both spending and tax cuts. Here is a breakdown of some what it means for the construction industry:
Transportation: The bill includes $47.8 billion in transportation funding:
- $27.5 billion for high & bridge formula funding
- $1.5 billion for discretionary competitive grant program for surface transportation
- $8.4 billion public transportation
- $850 million Amtrak capital grants
- $450 million Amtrak security upgrades
- $8 billion for construction of high speed and intercity rail projects
- $1.1 billion Airport Improvement Grants
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee provided the attached chart
which shows a state by state and metro-area breakdown of the highway, transit and clean water state revolving funds included in the bill.
Other Public Infrastructure Funding, Tax Provisions:
There are numerous tax provisions to encourage development, capital investment, andincreasing certain bonding opportunities on public buildings, schools and other public works. See the attached overview
of the specific tax provisions that AGC has worked to have included in this bill. A top AGC objective has been full repeal of the 3% withholding on contractor payments by public agencies. AGC was successful in having a one-year delay included in this bill and will continue to work for total repeal.
AGC was also successful in having a House bill requirement removed from the final bill that would have only allowed companies that use E-verify to be eligible to compete for projects funded under the bill.
The bill applies Davis Bacon to all funds in the bill and applies a new Buy American provision to all funds in the bill.
The bill does not apply the Federal Acquisition Regulations beyond the federal projects to all of the funding in the bill even though earlier versions of the bill did apply the FAR to even state and local projects. We were successful inclarifying that the FAR should only apply to direct federal contracts.
There is also a long chart
attached that details about $140 billion in construction spending education, safety and other critical services.
in the bill. Much of the money will be distributed to state governments to be spent. Unfortunately the bill did not make the significant commitment to school construction that AGC had advocated. School renovation, modernization and repairs will be eligible to compete for a portion of an $8.8 billion pot of money that will be distributed to the Governors and designated for
We are also adding information to our Economic Stimuluswebsite www.agc.org/stimulus
on funding for programs that are distributed through a formula. There may be a lag on some of that information as the analysis of the bill is still being done.
For more information contact AGC of America at 1/800/242-1766. Stay tuned to www.cagc.org for continuing updates.
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