Kershner: Infrastructure Bill: Supporting Business

An efficient transportation and infrastructure network fuels the Dayton region’s economy, workforce and the movement of goods for our logistics and manufacturing industries.  This efficient transportation network has long been a point of pride for our community and a unique value proposition that our region has been able to leverage for numerous years.  The I-70/I-75 interchange has been deemed the “Crossroads of America” by the federal government for the strategic advantage it provides for freight delivery.  This advantage has resulted in regional access to 60% of the nation’s population in a single day’s drive and more than a $2.5 billion annual economic impact on our region.

It is by no accident that the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce and our regional business community invest time, resources and influence into ensuring our regional transportation and infrastructure network is continually improved and meeting the needs of our evolving business community.  Infrastructure drives economic growth.

Congress recently moved a step closer to passing a bi-partisan infrastructure bill that will provide $1 trillion in funding for roads and bridges. The legislation, which recently passed the U.S. Senate, includes renewal of existing transportation spending, $110 billion for roads and bridges, and $65 billion for broadband expansion, which is a priority for the Chamber as well.

In April 2021, the Biden Administration introduced an infrastructure package and funding proposal with an increase in the corporate tax rate from 21%-28%, a move that gave the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce deep concerns. I appreciate the Federal Administration’s retreat of their attack on business and their willingness to negotiate a more equitable solution. The business community is thankful for the efforts of Ohio Senator Rob Portman, who led the charge for a negotiation and compromise. Advancement of this bill without a direct tax increase on the business community is good news for job creators.

The infrastructure bill passed the Senate and is now headed to the House for concurrence. However, the House is signaling they won’t concur until the Senate supports a $3.5 trillion social policy bill. We can’t play these games anymore. The Dayton region and our nation’s economies need transportation and infrastructure investments. These public revenues have been paid through our federal fuel taxes, and we need it returned to Ohio to make the right investments for the future of our economic growth.  There will be plenty of time for political horse trading on social policies, but now isn’t the time to make Ohio’s roads a chess piece in your Queen’s Gambit.

Chris Kershner, CAE
President & CEO
Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce

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