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There are hopeful signs on several issues that matter to cities.
(Published Mar 18, 2013)
Minnesota city officials joined their colleagues from around the country March 9-13 for the National League of Cities annual Congressional-City Conference. Numerous cabinet secretaries, along with Sen. John McCain, Vice President Joe Biden, and other Washington notables, addressed this year’s delegates.
While partisan gridlock surrounding fiscal matters continues to stymie the nation’s capital, there are hopeful signs on several issues that matter to cities. Immigration reform, while far from certain, is at least being discussed once again with the goal of reaching bi-partisan consensus on how we fix this broken system that directly impacts our local communities.
On another front, several proposals for tax reform have included ending the federal income tax exemption for the interest on state and local bonds, which could add up to 2 percentage points to the cost of debt. This exemption has been in place for 100 years since creation of the federal income tax in 1913. Fortunately, the consensus now emerging both with the Obama administration and with Congress seems to be that municipal bonds are the major source of financing the nation’s infrastructure and, therefore, the exemption should not be eliminated.
And finally, it appears that there is now wide and bi-partisan support to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would remove federal obstacles to the collection of state and local sales taxes from online purchases. City officials are asked to contact their members of Congress in support of this legislation (see related story).
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Contact Kevin Frazell
Director of Member Services
(651) 281-1215 or (800) 925-1122
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