~Plan would promote policies to improve multimodal transportation options, provide innovative financing solutions, create jobs and enable Florida to capture more trade ~
Orlando, FL – Today, speaking to attendees at the 2010 Floridians for Better Transportation Summit, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum announced his plan to improve Florida’s multimodal transportation system, provide innovative financing solutions and enable Florida to capture more trade. The plan, “Interconnected, Multimodal Transportation Solutions: A Roadmap for Florida’s Future”is a key part of Bill McCollum’s economic agenda for Florida’s future.
“Transportation and infrastructure are central to Florida’s quality of life and economic growth. As Governor, my number one priority will be to get Florida’s economy back on track and get Floridians back to work,” said Attorney General Bill McCollum. “I have released an economic agenda proposing to lower taxes, lower regulations and attract more diverse industries to Florida. But without a reliable, safe, interconnected transportation system, our goals for job creation and long-term prosperity cannot be accomplished.”
Attorney General McCollum also signed the Floridians for Better Transportation “Jobs Pledge” in which he promised to protect transportation funding for transportation purposes as Florida’s next Governor.
“This is not only the right thing to do for improving Florida’s infrastructure. It is also the best way to ensure immediate job growth. Today Florida is in a state of ‘economic emergency’,” McCollum said. “As Governor, I will expedite projects to help get people back to work right away.”
Attorney General McCollum’s plan is focused on six areas: innovative financing, seaports, roadways and bridges, freight rail, aviation, and commuter and bus transit.
The plan recognizes that Florida is at a turning point. With the 2014 completion of the Panama Canal expansion, Florida has an opportunity to capture significantly more trade, bringing hundreds of thousands of new jobs and billions in economic benefits. However, Florida is already losing these opportunities and jobs to competing states that have invested in their ports, rail and roadways to land long-term shipping contracts.
“The good news is that the return on investment for transportation funding is extraordinary,” said McCollum. “Every dollar spent to improve Florida’s infrastructure will bring significant return in benefits to the state and direct job creation.”
According to an independent study commissioned by the Florida Department of Transportation, every dollar spent on transportation investment yields between $5 and $7 in benefits to the state, with an even higher rate of return for seaport improvements.
To incentivize greater private investment without spending taxpayer dollars, McCollum’s transportation plan includes a variety of financing methods. These include the creation of a State Infrastructure Tax Credit to provide private investors with some protection against extraordinary downside risk and the creation of tax incentives to companies that locate or expand seaport, rail or aviation shipping capacity within Florida. The plan also calls for reducing unnecessary regulation and creating a better business climate.
Finally, McCollum’s plan takes an aggressive approach to tackling congestion and improving safety conditions for passengers and pedestrians. Florida’s stretch of I-95 is currently ranked the most deadly in the nation, and I-4 is the third most deadly. To address long-term, coordinated planning needs, McCollum states he will restart the “Future Corridors” process that began under Governor Jeb Bush. McCollum’s vision is to “develop a statewide, integrated network of multimodal corridors to address current and future needs, and to support economically developing areas.” These projects will be financed through public-private partnerships and user fees to the maximum extent possible.
Bill McCollum shared an outline of the plan along with the complete paper, linked below.
Interconnected, Multimodal Transportation Solutions:
Bill McCollum’s Roadmap for Florida’s Future
The Big Picture: Sustainable and Innovative Financing for Multimodal Projects
Enhance Florida’s Strategic Intermodal System to achieve coordinated goals
Protect transportation funding
Create the Florida Infrastructure Tax Credit to better leverage transportation funds and maximize private investment in state projects
Improve Florida’s regulatory climate to become more competitive with other states
Correct Florida’s “donor state” status to receive a fair share of our tax dollar funding
Restart the “Future Corridors” process to ensure coordinated, long-term planning
Ensure Florida’s direct investment in seaport financing and improvements
Increase the flexibility of matching requirements
Offer tax incentives for companies that locate or expand shipping facilities in Florida
Remove unnecessary and rigid statutory provisions that impede priority projects
Improve on-dock rail connectivity and develop warehouse and distribution centers at major Florida seaports
Highways, Roads and Bridges
Declare a state of Economic Emergency and expedite projects to spark Florida’s economy
Focus on congestion relief
Insist on safety
Airports & Aviation Industry
Recognize the importance of Florida’s aviation industry to jobs and tourism
Restore full use of the Aviation Fuels Tax to the aviation industry
Utilize my proposed Infrastructure Tax Credit to upgrade and maintain former military bases
Encourage more freight to be carried by rail to reduce highway congestion, improve road conditions, and improve air quality
Provide corporate tax incentives to encourage private investment in rail infrastructure
Increase in-state rail manufacturing and business in Florida
Bus & Rail Transit
Take a leadership role in federal-state projects to ensure affordable,viable results
Create bus rapid transit in urban areas throughout the state
For more details on Bill McCollum’s “Interconnected, Multimodal Transportation Solutions: A Roadmap for Florida’s Future”please visit www.BillMcCollum.com. A PDF of the plan is available here.
For more information, campaign news, and updates, visit www.BillMcCollum.com.