Senator John Walsh this week introduced new legislation to invest in infrastructure projects in Montana and across the country, and cut the national debt by closing tax loopholes on corporations that ship jobs overseas.
The American Jobs for American Infrastructure Act will ensure the Highway Trust Fund is able to meet its obligations through 2018. Right now, the Fund is expected to hit a shortfall by the end of August, putting as many as 235 critical Montana projects and 4,000 jobs at risk, as well as the small businesses that rely on safe roads and sound infrastructure.
Fully funding the Highway Trust Fund for at least four years will provide Montana's contractors the certainty they need to engage in cost-effective, long-term planning and support economic development in Montana's communities.
The bill will also fund critical water and energy infrastructure in Montana, including rural drinking water projects, irrigation systems, and energy generation and transmission upgrades.
"Now is the time to invest in and upgrade our aging infrastructure to make America's roads and bridges safer, as well as put thousands of Americans back to work," Walsh said. "This bill makes these critical investments as well as closing corporate tax loopholes and reducing the deficit."
Walsh proposes paying for these essential infrastructure investments by ending tax breaks for multinational corporations that ship jobs overseas. Under current law, corporations are allowed to immediately deduct the expenses associated with closing a factory in the United States and shipping the equipment abroad. The bill would end an incentive for U.S. businesses that go offshore by restricting those deductions for multinational corporations that exploit the tax code to indefinitely defer from paying taxes here in the United States.
The bill would also place new limits on corporate mergers that some U.S. companies use to reincorporate outside the U.S., thus avoiding paying American taxes.
Montana receives about $400 million per year from the Highway Trust Fund that support 13,500 jobs throughout the state.