Stimulus Bill Buoys Multiple Construction Types

At the recent AGC of Washington Annual Convention AGC of America lobbyist Jeff Shoaf and economist Ken Simonson provided an up-to-the-minute review of the economic stimulus package working its way through Congress now. The situation is fluid but here are latest details from AGC of America:

Stimulus legislation expected to be considered by the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday includes approximately $149 billion of funding to be obligated by September 30 2009 for infrastructure and public building investment provisions according to tabulation by AGC.

Transportation infrastructure ($44 billion) includes
• $30 billion for highway and bridge construction
• $9 billion for transit and
• $3 billion for airport improvement grants.

Water and environmental infrastructure ($17 billion) includes
• $6 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF)
• $4.5 billion for the Corps of Engineers and
• $2 billion for the Drinking Water SRF.

Building infrastructure ($55 billion) includes
• $14 billion for K-12 school construction
• $6 billion for higher education facilities
• $6.7 billion for General Services Administration federal buildings and facilities
• $5 billion for a public housing capital fund
• $4.2 billion for Department of Defense (DOD) medical facilities
• $2.1 billion for DOD facilities renovations
• $3.1 billion for construction on public lands and parks and 22 other categories.

Energy and technology ($28 billion) includes
• $11 billion for the electricity grid
• $6.9 billion for local government energy efficiency block grants
• $6 billion for wireless and broadband grants and
• $2.5 billion for energy efficiency housing retrofits.

There are also numerous tax provisions that would encourage construction activity (through faster write-offs tax credits or favorable bond provisions) or assist construction firms (through extending loss carrybacks from two to five years repealing the 3% withholding on government contracts currently slated to begin in 2011 and faster write-offs on equipment).

For a list of the dollar amounts and categories as compiled by AGC of Amerca click here. For a list of the tax provisions within the stimulus package click here. Keep in mind the situation is fluid and this info could change in the coming weeks.

A Senate bill is expected to be marked up on Tuesday; leaders in both houses hope to pass an identical bill and have it ready for President Obamas signature by mid-February.

AGC has testified to three House committees in favor of infrastructure spending as a stimulus measure. On Thursday Professor Stephen Fuller of George Mason University testified on AGCs behalf to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee regarding the impact of nonresidential construction spending on jobs gross domestic product (GDP) and personal earnings. (AGC testimonies and other information on stimulus are at www.agc.org.)