How Biden’s Infrastructure and Tax Proposals Could Impact Louisiana

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden delivers a speech on infrastructure spending at Carpenters Pittsburgh Training Center, Wednesday, March 31, 2021, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

NEW ORLEANS – President Joe Biden has proposed an aggressive series of infrastructure investments he says would require $2.3 trillion in spending over eight years and create millions of jobs.

According to a White House fact sheet, Louisiana projects may include capping thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells, repairing roads, addressing coastal restoration and exploring carbon energy initiatives. The report mentions dedicating $20 billion nationwide for construction programs that will reconnect neighborhoods damaged by the nation’s interstate highway projects in the 1960s. The Claiborne overpass is one of two mentioned by name.

There’s also a focus on protecting the coast from climate change.

“Building back better requires that the investments in this historic plan make our infrastructure more resilient in the face of increasingly severe floods, wildfires, hurricanes and other risks,” the fact sheet said. “Every dollar spent on rebuilding our infrastructure during the Biden administration will be used to prevent, reduce and withstand the impacts of the climate crisis.”

That’s a lot of potential investment in Louisiana. On the flip side, the proposal will come with a hefty price tag. To pay for all the infrastructure projects, Biden calls for the end of federal tax breaks for the state’s fossil fuel sector and increasing corporate tax rates overall.

Here are more notes on the proposal from the Associated Press:

Infrastructure Projects

— $115 billion to modernize the bridges, highways and roads that are in the worst shape. The White House outline estimated 20,000 miles (32,187 kilometers) of roadways would be repaired, while economically significant bridges and 10,000 smaller bridges would get fixed.

— $85 billion for public transit, doubling the federal government’s commitment in an effort to shorten the repair backlog and expand service.

— $80 billion to modernize Amtrak’s heavily trafficked Northeast Corridor line, address its repair backlog and improve freight rail.

— $174 billion to build 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations, electrify 20% of school buses and electrify the federal fleet, including U.S. Postal Service vehicles.

— $25 billion to upgrade air travel and airports and $17 billion for waterways and coastal ports.

— $20 billion to redress communities whose neighborhoods — typically nonwhite — were divided by highway projects.

— $50 billion to improve infrastructure resilience in the aftermath of natural disasters.

— $111 billion to replace lead water pipes and upgrade sewer systems.

— $100 billion to build high-speed broadband that provides 100% coverage for the country.

— $100 billion to upgrade the resilience of the power grid and move to clean electricity, among other power projects.

— $213 billion to produce, preserve and retrofit more than 2 million affordable houses and buildings.

— $100 billion to upgrade and build new schools.

— $18 billion to modernize Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics, and $10 billion for federal buildings.

— $400 billion to expand long-term care services under Medicaid.

— $180 billion invested in research and development projects.

— $300 billion for manufacturing, including funds for the computer chip sector, improved access to capital and investment in clean energy through federal procurement.

— $100 billion for workforce development.

Tax Increases

Biden’s plan would finance projects by:

— Raising the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, one of the measures that over 15 years would cover the cost of the infrastructure program and then help to reduce the budget deficit.

— Imposing a 21% global minimum tax, so that companies cannot avoid taxes by shifting income to low-tax countries.

— Making it harder for businesses to merge with foreign companies to avoid U.S. taxes, a process known as inversion.

— Eliminating tax breaks for companies that shift assets abroad, and denying deductions for offshoring jobs.

— Imposing a 15% minimum tax on the income that corporations report to shareholders.

— Eliminating tax preferences for the fossil fuels sector.

— Increasing IRS audits of large corporations.

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