URBAN ECONOMIC POLICY
Supporting the U.S. Census Bureau's Revised Census 2000 Plan
Tax Incentives to Revive Distressed Communities and Promote Smart Growth in the 21st Century
Opposing Mandatory Social Security Coverage for State and Local Employees
Increasing the Limit on Small Issue Tax-Exempt Municipal Bonds
Post Office Community Partnership Act of 1999
A National Agenda for Cities and Metropolitan Areas
Revising the Federal Budget "CAPS"

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URBAN ECONOMIC POLICY

TAX INCENTIVES TO REVIVE DISTRESSED COMMUNITIES AND PROMOTE SMART GROWTH IN THE 21st CENTURY

WHEREAS, for the first time in many years the President announced earlier this year that the federal deficit has been eliminated and both the Office of Management and Budget and the Congressional Budget Office are predicting huge surpluses, some $2.6 trillion over the next 10 years; and

WHEREAS, the President and congressional leaders have stated their intention to set aside a significant amount of the surpluses to extend the solvency of Social Security, and although they disagree over the size and specifics, both have stated their desire to pass a tax relief bill in 1999; and

WHEREAS, the nation has experienced enormous economic growth over the last eight years, there are distressed neighborhoods in many cities that have not benefited, where unemployment remains exceptionally high, and new job opportunities and business growth have been stifled; and

WHEREAS, there are many opportunities to provide federal tax incentives to help local areas reclaim brownfields, rehabilitate existing buildings in distressed commercial areas, preserve historic sites, and promote in-field development as an alternative to building new facilities in pristine open spaces such as farmlands and forests located near urbanized areas; and

WHEREAS, in a recent report prepared by Standard and Poor’s DRI, 314 of the nations largest city/county metropolitan areas continue to drive the nation’s robust economic growth in that they occupy only one-sixth of the land but contain 80 percent of the population, provide 84 percent of the jobs and 83 percent of the gross domestic product; and

WHEREAS, these city/county metropolitan areas are badly in need of new tax incentives are to assist them in growing smarter and more efficiently,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors urges Congress and the Administration to support the following priorities in the FY 2000 tax bill:

a. New Market Initiatives including tax incentives to generate venture capital which can be used to spur job growth and economic development in distressed communities.

b. Commercial Revitalization Tax Credits to provide tax incentives to businesses that expand or locate in distressed communities.

c. Better America Bonds to provide tax incentive to promote open space preservation, water quality improvements and brownfield redevelopment.

d. School Construction Tax Credits to promote new construction and the rehabilitation of public schools.

e. More Favorable Depreciation Rules For Commercial Property Owners to encourage building improvements that promote occupancy and extend the useful life of existing structures.

f. Low Income Housing Tax Credits to encourage the expansion of housing construction.

g. Tax Credits and Other Incentives to attract private capital in support of local rail and other fixed guideway public transit investment.

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