Ask any regular traveler of America’s roads, bridges, tunnels and highways — our nation’s aging infrastructure is in dire need of repair and becoming worse. An inventive solution to the problem of funding infrastructure improvements that centers on repatriating the money U.S. corporations earn overseas has recently been offered by Martin Tuchman ’62, a philanthropist and one of America’s most successful entrepreneurs.
“There is between $2 and $3 trillion sitting overseas in corporate profits,” explains Tuchman, who serves as an adviser to U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York on repatriation and finance issues. “What we are attempting to do is to bring that capital back into the States. The way to do that is to give them some tax incentive to be able to accomplish this.”
By proposing a federal tax rate of 5 percent versus the higher 35 percent rate, a substantial amount of money can be brought back to the U.S. But, as Tuchman says, the government would require the companies to invest in the U.S. infrastructure in order to forgive the higher tax rate.
“This will jump-start the economy in this country,” Tuchman said. “There will be good jobs — electricians, construction workers. There will be jobs that can’t be outsourced overseas.”
Tuchman proposes that companies retain 70 percent of the cash to use in any way they wish, while 25 percent would be used to purchase municipal bonds from participating states. The municipal bonds would be owned by the repatriating companies and remain on their balance sheets as assets. The companies would retain 95 percent of what they are repatriating.
As a founder of Interpool, one of the nation’s leading container leasing corporations and founder also of Trac Lease, the largest chassis leasing company in the country, Tuchman has successfully repatriated several hundred millions of dollars back to the U.S. through the Jobs Creation Act of 2005, which he has successfully invested in the U.S. economy.
“In doing so, we created the largest chassis leasing company in the United States,” Tuchman recalled. “It was good for everybody — there were more jobs, and there was a very good outcome for the shareholders.”
Tuchman currently is chief executive officer of the Tuchman Group, an investment group with holdings in real estate, banking and international shipping. He also serves as chairman of the Tuchman Foundation, an umbrella company for the Parkinson’s Alliance that works closely with Parkinson’s research organizations that seek grants from the National Institute of Health. In March 2016, NJIT’s School of Management was named in honor of Tuchman.