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Working to secure steady infrastructure investment in North Carolina

The NC Chamber has a history of leading on infrastructure issues. In 2015, we launched our NC Can’t Afford to Wait initiative, which helped secure more than $1 billion in transportation revenue for our state, including millions in recurring revenue – the first true long-term transportation funding reforms passed in North Carolina since 1989. We continued that success in 2019 and 2020 with our NC Can’t Afford to Stop Coalition which helped pass legislation that infused almost $300 million into DOT by way of the Highway Trust Fund and Build NC bonds.  While we’ve made great progress since then, it isn’t enough.

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Challenges and Solutions

Surging costs from historic storms, revenue shortfalls, widespread project delays, and the COVID-19 pandemic have all contributed to our state’s transportation challenges. Even more alarming, however, are the objective studies showing that North Carolina depends far too heavily on the motor fuels tax to generate transportation revenue.

As growing numbers of motorists adopt electric vehicles (EVs) and vehicle manufacturers commit to ever-higher EV production targets, traditional funding options like the motor fuels tax are becoming less and less viable. And unfortunately, North Carolina is highly dependent on the motor fuels tax to fund transportation projects, with 54.7% of total state transportation revenues provided by this tax, according to the NC FIRST Commission.

States across the nation are grappling with this same challenge, and North Carolina has the chance to become a leader in creating new models for capturing transportation revenue. If we can do this, we stand to create explosive impacts across our economy. If we cannot, we will fall further and further behind other states that choose the path of innovation.

How can we ensure North Carolina creates the modernized, diversified revenue stream we need to keep our roads, railways, ports, and airports well-funded over the next decade and beyond? In the summer of 2020, the NC Chamber formed the Destination 2030 Coalition to ensure North Carolina’s business community is actively engaged in helping to answer this important question throughout the current decade. Together, this growing alliance of job creators is committed to providing bold solutions to the transportation funding challenges facing our state.

Read more: Destination 2030

Other initiatives

Rebuilding Eastern North Carolina: Rural challenges, lingering impacts from the 2008 recession, natural disasters, and the recent cancellation of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline have all combined to leave many of our state’s eastern communities underserved economically. The NC Chamber Foundation will conduct a comprehensive effort to consider ways we can rebuild infrastructure and support job creation across these communities.

Digital Infrastructure Access : The NC Chamber Foundation study, Spreading Economic Opportunity Across North Carolina, validated and amplified the importance of access to and local adoption of available broadband as a key infrastructure element for businesses and for students. The Foundation will continue to work with partners across the state to identify options for private-sector solutions to increase access to and adoption of rural broadband.

Managing Solid Waste: With North Carolina’s dramatic population growth expected to continue, our state’s generation of solid waste will only increase. As such, it is critical that we advance a solid waste management strategy that is both environmentally and economically sound.

The Agenda

  • View our 2024 Legislative Agenda to learn how the NC Chamber will advance bold solutions to the transportation funding challenges facing our state.
  • Learn how the NC Chamber advanced competitive infrastructure priorities for NC job creators in the 2023 edition of How They Voted.
  • Learn about our Transportation & Infrastructure Summit, held yearly to connect industry leaders with NCDOT policymakers and information about the initiatives sure to impact the sector.

Join the Effort

Add your voice to the NC Chamber family and drive solutions that promote steady infrastructure investment in North Carolina: Explore membership opportunities with the NC Chamber today.

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