The demands of a growing population and a growing economy will require significant new sources of energy in the years to come. Estimates are that by the year 2030 we will need a staggering 30 percent more energy to meet the needs of our domestic economy.
A robust, diverse and innovative approach to energy development is essential to our economic security. This will require expanded domestic production, transmission, and distribution of all energy sources—including coal, natural gas, petroleum, nuclear, hydropower, renewables, and biomass—as well as a new effort to modernize the infrastructure for energy delivery.
Any comprehensive energy plan must include renewable energy. Renewable energy sources are playing an increasing larger role in our energy portfolio. Incentives encourage continued development and expansion of renewable energy sources, enhancing energy security while also creating hundreds of thousands of jobs among industries, including Nebraska’s engineering industry, that serve this important sector.
“I think it has been well-established that Nebraska’s transportation system plays a vital role in the quality of its citizens’ lives. The state’s economy is heavily dependent upon the agricultural and transportation industries. Having a robust and quality highway system is not only vital to the movement of goods and people, it is absolutely essential to the development and success of this state,”
Senator Deb Fischer during her closing remarks at the 2010 Nebraska Surface Transportation Funding Conference.
The transportation engineering industry has long recognized the importance of an efficient and reliable transportation system to the economic success of Nebraska and the Nation. The State’s transportation systems are the foundation for the efficient movement of people and goods, and are crucial for economic development, business retention and expansion, and job creation throughout Nebraska.
ACEC-Nebraska urges Nebraska Legislators to pass an authorization bill with robust funding increases and mechanisms to ensure adequate and stable funding sources for meeting the transportation improvement needs of Nebraska for the next 20 years. More specifically, ACEC-N supports:
Despite the fact that the Nebraska is home to the world’s best engineering firms and talent, efforts continue at the state, county and municipal levels to limit the ability of public entities to enlist the capabilities of private engineering firms.
ACEC members continue to report examples of state agencies, counties and municipalities engaging in commercial activities that are traditionally done by the private sector.
Efficient and effective work performance and use of tax payers dollars should be the goal of all involved While certain functions are truly inherently governmental, especially those dealing with law enforcement, defense, and the acquisition and oversight of contracts, most are not. Public entities that contract with engineering firms are able to acquire unique capabilities, adapt quickly to economic conditions and fluctuating workloads, ramp up their programs when funds are available, and ramp down when funding cycles demand savings. By contrast, government policies that require the use of in-house engineer workforces stifle innovation and competition, limit experience application, and dampen economic growth.
ACEC is opposed to the concept of levying a sales tax on businesses that provide professional services to their clients. Such taxation is regressive, inhibits competition and is inherently difficult and burdensome to administer. Service taxes are generally applied at a uniform rate for all service providers within the taxing jurisdiction. Smaller firms suffer under such an arrangement, particularly for gross receipts taxes. Additionally, large firms often have the capability to provide comprehensive services in-house, while the small firm must rely on consultant, thus adding to their tax burden.
Assessing a tax on professional A/E services is extremely difficult for government to achieve. Tax reporting procedures could lead to firms having to pay taxes on revenue they have not yet, or may not ever, receive. Furthermore, taxes on professional services have historically fallen short of expected tax revenue. The revenue shortfall coupled with the large bureaucracy state governments would have to create to administer the tax should further deter legislatures from attempting to implement a tax on professional A/E services.
Historically have failed to generate the amount of revenue expected prior to their implementation. Approximately 52% of all engineering fees are from traditionally exempt users (i.e. governments)
ACEC/Nebraska urges Nebraska Legislators defeat legislation that would implement a sales tax on businesses that provide professional services.