The Finishing Contractors Association and its labor partner, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, are calling on Congress and the incoming Obama administration to use part of the proposed stimulus package to fund construction and infrastructure projects. The groups also made a separate request for tax incentives, such as repeal of the three percent tax withholding on many government projects.
President Obama is calling for a multi-billion dollar stimulus package designed to rejuvenate the U.S. economy. In two letters to the Obama administration and the 111th Congress, the groups urged lawmakers to include construction in the infrastructure portion of the package. The second letter calls for tax incentives. “We ask that you not overlook building construction, alterations, and repairs in the definition of ‘infrastructure,’” the letter said.
FCA Chairman Ed Smith said having the support of the entire construction community was critical to alleviating some of the economic stress in the country.
“We also support the investment in infrastructure, which we believe needs to be a national priority for the safety and well being of all Americans,” Smith said. “We encourage lawmakers to look for projects that provide long-term community benefits, can be started quickly, and keep good jobs in the community.”
The construction industry normally employs more than 7 million people and brings more than $ 1 trillion in economic activity each year. However, job losses in construction outpaced those in the general population. In November, specialty construction trades lost 50,000 jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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