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Mike Miller
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Earlier this week, the House passed by voice vote legislation permanently banning internet access taxes – a blow to local and state governments counting on the tax as a current or future revenue stream. H.R. 3086, the “Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act,” permanently extends the moratorium first enacted in 1998... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2014 at The Ferguson Group Blog
Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed legislation providing an $11 billion bailout to the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) and steady state funding for highway and transit projects and programs through May 2015. Only 45 Republicans and 10 Democrats voted against H.R. 5021. The bill now moves to the Senate where... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2014 at The Ferguson Group Blog
On June 18 Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) released their proposal to increase the fuel tax by 12 cents over two years to create revenue necessary to shore up the Highway Trust Fund and pay for a long term transportation authorization bill. Senator Murphy wrote notes... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2014 at The Ferguson Group Blog
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a “Frequently Asked Questions” document which could have significant negative financial impacts on municipal governments. Under the Office of Water interpretation of 2011’s Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act (P.L. 111-380), fire hydrants are not exempt from the Safe Drinking Water... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2013 at The Ferguson Group Blog
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will host two open meetings via teleconference on Tuesday, November 26 of interest to local government. The first, the Small Communities Advisory Subcommittee (SCAS), will meet at 10:30 a.m. (ET) to discuss small systems waste treatment, water infrastructure, air quality issues and other issues... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2013 at The Ferguson Group Blog
The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) has published a Notice identifying federal buildings and other real property in twenty states that HUD has reviewed for suitability for use to assist the homeless. Properties are listed in the Notice according to the following categories: suitable/available, suitable/unavailable, and suitable/to... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2013 at The Ferguson Group Blog
On Friday, August 16, 2013, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) published a final rule outlining a new arbitration option for applicants dissatisfied with public assistance determinations. Until now, cities and counties unhappy with FEMA disaster assistance determinations had but one course of action available – a two-level appeal process... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2013 at The Ferguson Group Blog
Yesterday Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood released the TIGER 5 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). The online application will open next Monday and applications are due by June 3, 2013. Here are a few quick notes gleaned from the NOFA: The total funding level is similar to TIGER IV – $474... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2013 at The Ferguson Group Blog
On March 6 Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar informed County recipients of Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILT) that program cuts due to sequester will result in a 5.1% reduction in June 2013 payments. PILT provides funding to local governments to help offset losses in property taxes due to nontaxable Federal... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2013 at The Ferguson Group Blog
This morning President Obama nominated Gina McCarthy to be the next EPA Administrator and Ernest Moniz as the new Energy Secretary. Both nominations require Senate approval. Gina McCarthy is currently the Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation and has worked for both Republicans and Democrats previously. During remarks to the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2013 at The Ferguson Group Blog
Today the Supreme Court of the United States reversed the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals opinion holding municipal governments liable for discharging polluted water in violation of the Clean Water Act (CWA). Notwithstanding the reversal, it is likely there will be continued developments in this case in light of the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2013 at The Ferguson Group Blog
On December 4, 2012 the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) hosted a webinar focusing on a recently released document outlining changes to FTA programs under MAP-21. The document goes beyond the typical allocations tables and provides important and specific guidance regarding federal transportation programs crucial to local and regional government related... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2012 at The Ferguson Group Blog
The 112th Congress will return to Capitol Hill this week for a high stakes lame duck session. It is possible Congress will pass more legislation before the Congress adjourns sine die but even with additional legislative days it is unlikely Congress will add significantly to its extraordinarily low bill passage... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2012 at The Ferguson Group Blog
A newly-released Inspector General’s Audit Report commends USDOT for establishing and administering the first round of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) discretionary grants program within the short timeframe of ARRA, but identifies serious management deficiencies which need be addressed as TIGER matures. This report provides a valuable porthole... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2012 at The Ferguson Group Blog
On August 17, President Obama directed the U.S. Department of Transportation to redirect and quickly spend $473 million in highway earmarks from FY2003-2006 appropriations acts that, for a variety of reasons, could not be fully spent by a local sponsor. Many sponsors have tried unsuccessfully to redirect the original funds,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2012 at The Ferguson Group Blog
The ink is barely dry on MAP-21, the recent highway reauthorization bill, but USDOT’s Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) Program office is swiftly moving ahead to administer their souped-up program. On July 27th, USDOT published a Notice of Funding Availability for 2013-2014 TIFIA funds. MAP-21 increased TIFIA funding... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2012 at The Ferguson Group Blog
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Jun 27, 2012