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More on the Mileage Tax

Ian Scott on Friday, February 27, 2009 at 1:31:00 am 

Regular Clearinghouse Blog readers will recall an article out of St. Louis speculating about a mileage tax from my Transportation Headlines post last week.  This week I dug up another interesting take on the future prospects for a mileage tax to fund transportation, this time from the National Journal's Expert Blog on Transportation.

The blog post is interesting, but you should check out  the dozens of expert comments from senior executives, trade association leaders and elected officials.

Click HERE to read the post.

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Ambitious Agenda in Cincinnati

Ian Scott on Thursday, February 26, 2009 at 11:25:38 pm 

Earlier this month in Cincinnati launched a sweeping new regional action plan, Agenda 360. The plan's ambitious goals are to "create 200,000 net jobs in the 15-county region by 2020; add 150,000 young professionals to the work force by that time; and ensure that every household earns at least 250 percent of the federal poverty level." Myrita Craig, formerly the V.P. of small business and programs at the Cincinnati Regional Chamber of Commerce, has been named executive director of the Office of Agenda 360, which will be housed at the chamber to oversee implementation of the plan and report progress to the community.

Incidentally, Myrita Craig is currently participating in the ACCE/Ford Foundation Regional Sustainable Development Fellowship.  For more information on this educational opportunity from ACCE click HERE or call Ian Scott at ACCE.

For more details on Cincinnati's Agenda 360 check out articles from The Lebanon Western Star and The Cincinnati Business Courier

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Candidate Recruitment Programs

Ian Scott on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 at 11:45:00 pm 

Many chambers organize candidate recruitment programs to attract knowledgeable, business-friendly candidates to run for local elected office. These programs range from informational sessions to campaign assistance.  We have assembled some sample documents from chamber run candidate recruitment programs to help you launch your own program - they are available at PolicyClearinghouse.org.

Thanks to the chambers in Des Moines, Green Bay, and Orlando for sharing information about their programs.  If your organization runs a great candidate recruitment or political leadership program, please share it with us, leave a comment below. 

There are a wealth of resources on PolicyClearinghouse.org.  From survey results to annotated links to sample legislative agendas and award winning communication campaigns, ACCE has a wealth of resources to help make your job a little easier.  Check out the site, scroll over the Additional Resources tab, you might be surprised by what you find.

Note: You must be to be logged-in with your ACCE username and password to access the Policy Clearinghouse website.

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Tax Resources

Ian Scott on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 at 6:51:03 pm 

Looking for tax related resources?  The ACCE PolicyClearinghouse can help you access some of the best available.  Here are a few examples:

Tax Digest on the Stimulus Package from accounting firm RSM McGladrey -  this report outlines the basics of more than 2 dozen business and energy incentives passed in the economic stimulus package.  An important resource to share with your members.  Download Stimulus Package -TaxDigest

Tax Foundation Special Report 164:  Budget Shortfalls in Many States Present Opportunities for Tax Reform - this in-depth report outlines all the state's facing a budget deficit, diagnoses the tax climate in the states with the largest deficits and recommends reforms.  Reforms are chiefly based on: broadening tax bases, lowering rates, and eliminating targeted tax credits.  Follow this link to access the 1report:  http://www.taxfoundation.org/publications/show/24321.html

Council on State Taxation (COST): Fiscal Year 2008 Business Tax Burden Study -Despite the impacts of the recession, business taxes grew 2.7% in fiscal year 2008 to a total of $590 billion nationwide.  This study provides an in-depth look at the state and local taxes paid by businesses in 2008.  Download 08 -State and Local Business Tax Burden Study

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housing development idea...show my ignorance

Ian Scott on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 at 1:37:15 am 

Someone suggested to me that bringing back the Section 235 mortgage program (was done away with during the Nixon administration) might be a great idea.

I'm not enough of a policy wonk (and I lack the time right now) to fully understand the concept in terms of what its impact would be in the 2nd decade of the 21st century.

Any thoughts?

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More Dollars for High Speed Rail?

Ian Scott on Tuesday, February 24, 2009 at 6:51:00 pm 

Rail Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has underscored the Obama administration's commitment to high speed rail.  The National Journal quoted Sec. LaHood as saying:

"What the president is saying with the $8 billion (in stimulus funding for high speed rail) is this is the start to help begin high-speed rail projects." He added that the administration "is committed to finding the dollars to not only get them started but to finishing them in at least five parts of the country."

This latest statement is further evidence of the 'pro-rail' mood in Washington and suggests funding priorities down the road (or rather, down the rail).

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A Tip o' the Hat to Local Chambers

Ian Scott on Tuesday, February 24, 2009 at 5:50:11 pm 

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal told the world something that ACCE members have long known: "local chambers of commerce have geared up to help small businesses."

The article highlights different ways that several chambers, including the Nashville (TN) Area Chamber and the Salem (OR) Area Chamber, are using technology to help their members survive the tough economy.  Congratulations Chambers on some much deserved national recognition.

Click HERE to link to the article.

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Have we hit the bottom? A hopeful sign...

Dennis Lauver on Thursday, February 19, 2009 at 10:55:46 pm 

Dennis_lauver_webDennis Lauver
CEO, Salina (KS) Area Chamberl
Chair, ACCE Government Relations Division

I am the eternal optimist but the Conference Board's "Index of Leading Economic Indicators" reports that indicators are UP (barely) for the 2nd month in a row! Not much of a gain, but still better than a drop. This could be a positive sign that we will see the overall economy start moving in the right direction.

My guess, based on what I've been reading, is that we might be at/very near the bottom but that things will be flat for a while with weak or little growth for a few months before things start moving up again.

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Card Check DIALogue - Feb 26

Ian Scott on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 at 10:02:34 pm 

Recent ACCE policy surveys show that Card Check is among the top issues for chambers nationwide. Clearinghouse Blog readers probably know that the proposed Employee Free Choice Act could fundamentally change labor relations in America, however, there are many things about this bill you may not be aware of.

  • Do you fully understand the implications of the binding arbitration clause?
  • Do you know the prospective legislative timeline, who is the supporting the bill, and who might still be swayed?
  • Do you know the most effective ways you can you influence the trajectory of this bill?

Join us next Thursday, February 26, for a DIALogue on Card Check with Steven J. Law, Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel at the US Chamber of Commerce.  Law is a leading expert on this critical issue and will discuss the impact that this potential bill could have on both the national and your local economy. Get an understanding of how important the voice of the local business community will be in deciding the outcome of this legislation.  

Thanks to the generous support of a concerned corporate citizen, ACCE is able to dramatically reduce the cost of next week's DIALogue.  Instead of the normal $65 registration fee, this important DIALogue will only cost $25 for ACCE members.

Click HERE to register.

 

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Durham Chamber Focuses on Job Creation

Ian Scott on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 at 6:34:15 pm 

Yesterday the Greater Durham (NC) Chamber of Commerce launched a four year economic development initiative aimed at creating 9000 jobs.  The comprehensive plan called Vision 3D focuses on Economic Development, Talent & Workforce Development and Community Development.

The Durham Chamber has adopted a regional focus with this economic development initiative:

"Focusing on our region as opposed to individual cities unifies our resources and strengthens our position when competing for new businesses and the jobs that come with them," said Casey Steinbacher, President & CEO of the Durham Chamber. "Our competition for projects tends to be communities much larger than our area. By working as a Corridor we provide more advantages that help level the playing field."

To learn more about Vision 3D and its measurable goals, visit the Durham Chamber website.

For press coverage about the initiative, click HERE and HERE.

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