The need to rebuild, repair, operate and maintain our country’s infrastructure is, and always will be, an ongoing endeavor. The problem is that minorities, women, veterans and other groups are seldom the contractors or high-wage earners on infrastructure projects.
Historically, the primary funding source for the U.S. Dept. of Transportation and its infrastructure projects is an 18.4¢-per-gallon gasoline tax and a 24.4¢-per-gallon tax on diesel fuel that millions of consumers pay at the pump. These taxes account for nearly $200 billion annually. In addition to the federal tax, states collect gasoline taxes that often are much higher, with some state rates adding as much as 57¢ per gallon to a fuel purchase. Couple these taxes with airport fees, tolls and so on, and we see that much of America’s infrastructure is supported by consumers—people who should have the right to participate in rebuilding it. The inclusion of all Americans must be a top priority for local, state and federal representatives and the companies awarded these contracts.
As financial models for these projects become more creative, including the wider use of public-private partnerships (P3s), we need to ensure that funds are being used for their intended purpose—to rebuild infrastructure—and that all Americans benefit from this funding.
Keep reading this article at: https://www.enr.com/articles/44181-infrastructure-projects-should-include-more-minority–and-women-owned-contractors