In April, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and WateReuse published the results of a study aimed at quantifying the economic impacts of increased federal investment in the State Revolving Funds (SRFs). The study, The Economic, Job Creation, and Federal Tax Revenue Benefits of Increased Funding for the State Revolving Fund Programs, shows how increased investment would generate significant tax revenues, high paying jobs, and higher economic output.
The State Revolving Fund (SRF) Programs provide an affordable way to finance water and wastewater projects. Congress must annually appropriate funds for the Drinking Water SRF (DWSRF) and Clean Water SRF (CWSRF) programs through the EPA’s annual appropriation bill. The study points out that appropriations for the SRF programs has dropped substantially from 2010 to 2016.
The study aims to show what the economic output would be if appropriators were to increase SRF appropriations, which the CWC has supported and advocated. The study assumes the SRF appropriations will be increased to $4.7 billion in 2017 (nearly doubling the appropriation level, and then incrementally increased over the next five years to $12 billion. These are unrealistic expectations, but illustrating the benefits of such an investment is paramount.
Specifically, the study found for every federal SRF dollar spent, 21.4% is returned to the federal government in the form of taxes, allowing greater investment. According to the study, the proposed $34.7 billion federal allocation will leverage an additional $116.2 billion in state spending ($151 billion total) in SRF project funding. Additionally, the increased SRF funding would also create half a million new jobs with an annual salary of $60,000 a year. Finally, the increased appropriations will generate $102.7 billion in total economic output across industries, strengthening our economy.
These results mirror what we already know and have reported here continually. Investing in water infrastructure is good for everyone and our economy.
To download the 8-page study, The Economic, Job Creation, and Federal Tax Revenue Benefits of Increased Funding for the State Revolving Funds Programs