Biden

President Joe Biden delivers a speech on infrastructure spending Wednesday, March 31, 2021, at Carpenters Pittsburgh Training Center in Pittsburgh.

(The Center Square) – The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to members of the state’s Congressional delegation on Friday asking them to come up with a counterproposal to the Biden Administration’s plan to fund critically needed infrastructure improvements.

At issue is the White House’s plan to increase the federal corporate tax rate by 33% in order to help fund the $2 trillion American Jobs Plan.

While Kentucky’s roads and overall infrastructure has received a C-minus grade, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the Chamber’s own 2017 report estimates that Kentucky’s poor roadways cost motorists $4 billion, Chamber President and CEO Ashli Watts cited a Tax Foundation study that claimed increasing the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% would actually cost jobs and depress wages.

Watts also raised concerns about Biden’s 15% minimum tax on corporate income, another proposed change in the tax code that proponents claim would prevent companies from avoiding taxes, would further complicate the country’s tax structure and not really add much revenue.

“Instead of pursuing anti-business tax measures that would harm economic growth, the Kentucky Chamber supports other funding streams such as user-based fees and granting states and localities increased flexibility in appropriating funds from the American Rescue Plan Act,” Watts wrote. “It is critical that Congress ensure that the methods used to fund infrastructure investment do not end up negating the positive economic benefits that come with investment – which is what we fear would be the result of the American Jobs Plan, as proposed by the White House.”

Earlier this year, the Chamber was one of the biggest advocates in Frankfort for an increase in the state’s gas tax to add funding to the state’s road budget. The Chamber and other business groups across the state said that neighboring states, by raising their gas taxes, were better maintaining existing roads and bridges and better prepared to build new ones that would make them more attractive for business investment.

The General Assembly, though, was not able to reach consensus on the issue before the session ended.