A plan for long-term transportation and infrastructure funding in NC is long overdue. Join us in securing our state’s future.
The NC Chamber and the business community have a history of leading on transportation 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 reform measures in North Carolina since 1989. We continued that success last year with our NC Can’t Afford to Stop Coalition – the successor to that first initiative – 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.
The Current Challenge
Over the course of the next decade, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) will only have funds available for 17% of our state’s needed transportation projects. During that same time frame, 57% of the revenue currently used to fund infrastructure projects will decline due to North Carolina’s heavy reliance on the dwindling motor fuels tax. Surging costs from historic storms, an inadequate revenue formula, and the COVID-19 pandemic have all contributed to a transportation crisis here in North Carolina.
Fortunately, the NC Chamber and NC Chamber Foundation are committed to solving this crisis. With the help of the NC Can’t Afford to Stop Coalition, we’ve been leading an effort to encourage state leaders to secure immediate and mid-range investment options for 2020 and 2021. But despite our successes, a larger question remains: 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?
That question calls for a new coalition to help pave the way forward: Destination 2030: The Road to a Stronger Transportation Future. With this new initiative, the NC Chamber and our allies aim to build on the successes of the NC Can’t Afford to Stop Coalition by bringing together a broader alliance of businesses and business-minded organizations to push for the sustainable transportation solutions North Carolina needs.
As our connection to the global economy, North Carolina’s transportation infrastructure networks are integral components of our state’s competitive future. The NC Chamber is committed to building upon the state’s available infrastructure investments and advocating for solutions to diversify its revenue streams to finance critical transportation infrastructure projects that will improve our roads, railways, ports, water and sewer systems, energy resources and broadband availability.
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. Starting by convening key leaders, businesses, and economic development organizations in these rural areas, the Foundation will develop options to reinvigorate eastern North Carolina.
Digital Infrastructure Access and Adoption Study: 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 policy debate and tension between local government and private companies has created significant challenges in meeting the needs of non-urban businesses and residents. 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. This effort will work in tandem with the Foundation’s efforts to rebuild eastern North Carolina, as broadband access is integral to the revitalization of rural parts of our state.
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. Necessary research should focus on new technologies, necessary regulatory reforms, current capacity, and future needs. This research should also propose permitting standards for new sites (considering questions such as where new sites can be located, how many will be allowed, and under what conditions can they be developed?) and analyze the efficacy of current recycling efforts.
- Learn more about the NC Chamber’s plans to advance this issue in the 2019 – 2020 Legislative Agenda.
- 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.