Ayotte Introduces Bill to Help States Repair Deficient Bridges

Strengthening America’s Bridges Act would use savings from reducing tax fraud to fund bridge projects

WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 12, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) announced today that she has introduced legislation that would help New Hampshire and other states repair or maintain bridges classified as deficient. The Strengthening America’s Bridges Act is based on an amendment that Ayotte introduced earlier this year during consideration of the Keystone bill. The legislation would create the Strengthening America’s Bridges Fund and authorize the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide grants to states to repair or replace bridges — addressing an important need in New Hampshire, where almost one-third of bridges are classified as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.

“Almost a third of New Hampshire’s bridges are in need of replacement or repair, presenting public safety and transportation challenges for Granite Staters. My legislation would reduce fraud associated with the Additional Child Tax Credit and use those savings to pay for important infrastructure projects like repairing and replacing deficient bridges,” said Senator Ayotte.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, as of December 2014, about one-third of New Hampshire’s 2,467 bridges are rated structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Ayotte’s amendment would make a simple fix in the tax code to require that filers’ children have Social Security Numbers in order to qualify for the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), which the Joint Committee on Taxation estimates could save an estimated $20 billion over 10 years. The savings would be used to finance the Strengthening America’s Bridges Fund and allow the Department of Transportation to work with New Hampshire to replace or repair these bridges.

In 2011, the Treasury IG reported that individuals who were not authorized to work in the U.S. received $4.2 billion by claiming the ACTC. The ACTC is the refundable portion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC), which can reduce an individual’s taxes owed by as much as $1,000 for each qualifying child. Under current law, there is no requirement that the filer – or the child – have a SSN to qualify. The absence of such common-sense requirements have led to massive fraud.

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