By Dr. Alison Premo Black, chief economist, ARTBA
April 15 is normally Tax Day, though the deadline this year is extended to April 18 because of D.C.’s recognition of Emancipation Day.
While we might not like paying income and other taxes, it’s important to remember that transportation design and construction industry companies and their workers are major contributors to the federal government and local communities.
Transportation construction activity in the United States generates $155.7 billion annually in direct and induced wages, according to ARTBA’s 2015 U.S. Transportation Construction Industry Profile. These workers and their employers contribute an estimated $17.5 billion each year in state and local income, corporate and payroll tax revenue and an additional $10.9 billion in federal payroll taxes.
But that’s not all. Without the infrastructure built, maintained and managed by the nation’s transportation construction industry, virtually all of the major industry sectors that comprise the U.S. economy—and the American jobs they sustain—would not exist or could not efficiently and profitably function.
Nearly 63 million American jobs in just tourism, manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, agriculture and forestry, general construction, mining, retailing and wholesaling alone are dependent on the work done by the U.S. transportation construction industry. These dependent industries provide a total payroll in excess of $2.5 trillion. These businesses and employees contribute more than $462 billion annually in state and local income, payroll and corporate taxes and federal payroll taxes.
Just as important, infrastructure improvements also foster continuing economic growth over many years beyond the initial investment. That growth, in turn, generates more future tax revenue.