Infrastructure and Transportation

Federal transportation funding to repair, expand and enhance our nation’s infrastructure has traditionally been authorized by Congress through a Transportation Reauthorization Bill. Originally created in 1992, the Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) was the first bill multi-year funding system that provided for our future transportation needs. Since then, several transportation reauthorization bills have been passed including the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) and the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). Most recently, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015 was signed into law at the end of 2015, providing dedicated funding for the next five years.

The
Issue

Widely seen as a jobs creator and an engine for economic growth, increased investment for transportation projects has been championed by Democrats, Republicans and numerous business interests. However, discovering new ways to pay for transportation projects has become difficult as budget cuts and fiscal constraint overshadows the nation’s need to invest in infrastructure improvements.

As a top priority for NAIOP, we have been working with leaders in both parties to educate them on the importance of increased transportation and infrastructure investment. The success of commercial real estate projects depends heavily on these investments and viable connectivity strategies that incorporate different modes of transportation.

Position

Federal transportation and infrastructure funding is critical for a thriving real estate industry and to grow our economy. The success of commercial real estate projects depends largely on infrastructure investments and viable connectivity strategies that incorporate different modes of transportation, including highways, roads, rail and mass transit.

Congress should create new innovative funding solutions to meet our nation's infrastructure and transportation needs. NAIOP supports increased funding of new public-private partnerships and tax incentives that encourage private investments for infrastructure improvements.

Status

In 2015, Congress passed Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The bill will fund our nation’s highways and transit systems until 2020. 

The measure, known as the first transportation bill enacted by Congress in over a decade that guarantees more than two years’ worth of funding. 

The bill represented a significant victory for the real estate community and includes many of the elements that were outlined in NAIOP's legislative agenda. Which, provides over $305 billion for five years. The Trump Administration has promised to pursue a robust infrastructure program.

Talking
Points

  • Public-private partnerships should be expanded and new revenue sources established to solve congestion-related problems.
  • Increased federal funding for port expansion is needed to relieve congestion problems associated with receiving and distributing imported goods.
  • A national goods movement strategy is necessary to develop warehouses and other facilities effectively along trade corridors to meet future growth demands.
  • Failure to invest in freight transportation will lead to an increase in congestion on roads and slow the movement of goods resulting in higher cost to consumers.
  • Congress should contact policies that facilitate, support and encourage private investments for infrastructure improvements.