Rural Infrastructure, Transportation and Innovation Act

Problem

Wisconsin’s construction industry supports 100,000 people in the state, with jobs located in urban and rural areas with public and private contract opportunities. Currently, a disparity exists between large and small construction companies being awarded public building contracts. Since 2015, Wisconsin’s five largest contractors were awarded 25% of the aggregate contracts, as large companies are often able to underbid smaller companies. Small businesses face hurdles when trying to increase their workforce, improve equipment and technology, and cut costs. Another issue facing Wisconsin is a workforce shortage of skilled workers who trained at certified apprenticeship programs, learning from experts in their field.

Solution

This proposal creates tax incentives for Wisconsin construction companies that invest in employee development, business growth, and process updates. Allowing small companies to compete and win contracts could create an influx of revenue in rural communities, while increasing family-supporting jobs, and potentially lowering costs to local governments. Incentivizing smaller companies to equip themselves to compete for larger public projects will increase market competition, while creating construction cost efficiencies; with these efficiencies Wisconsin will save tax dollars on necessary projects. Additionally, if a project is awarded to a general contractor in a rural area and they are able to hire more employees, the entire community will see microeconomic growth. To help communities across the state, we must invest in our small businesses so they are able to prosper equally.


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