Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Internet, Federal Preemptions Head Up NLC Agenda

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Internet, Federal Preemptions Head Up NLC Agenda

Article excerpt

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss) last week publicly supported NLC and the governors when he said the NLC-opposed Internet Tax Freedom Act, S. 442, "would not go to the Senate floor until we can work out an understanding with the governors," after Utah Governor Michael Leavitt briefed him about the National Governors' Association's sweeping new policy on electronic commerce taxation by state and municipal governments. Notwithstanding Lott's comments, President Clinton last week announced his support for the legislation, and Senate authors of the federal preemption of current and future state and local revenues, Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said they remain optimistic about the bill's chances. House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Tx) said the House preemption effort is still on track for passage by mid-March.

If Lott holds firm, that will be good news to the nation's municipal leaders and an issue which they hope Lott will amplify upon when he addresses NLC's leaders on Monday, March 9. There will also be an opportunity to hear from House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) about his agenda as it might help or hurt municipal revenues.

Both Lott's commitment to fairness to cities and Main Street business, as well as the larger issue of federal pre-emption and interference with municipal revenues will be a key focal point at NLC" Congressional City Conference. On Sunday, March 8, Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) will headline a plenary session that will focus on the issue of Administration and Congressional efforts to preempt state and local taxes on the Internet. The session, Restructuring State and Local Revenue Systems, which will run from 10:15 a.m.-11:45 a.m, will also look at the potential revenue or bottom line impacts on city budgets of electric utility legislation, federal tax reform, and other federal preemption efforts pending in the Congress. …

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