This morning, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman, Peter A. DeFazio (D-OR), House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA), other House leaders, and the House Democratic Caucus released a new $760 billion framework proposal to address America’s growing infrastructure needs. The proposal calls for an investment of $434 billion in surface transportation over five years, including $105 billion for public transit and $55 billion for passenger rail. In addition to surface transportation, the proposal addresses other transportation modes (e.g., airports, ports, inland waterways) as well as clean energy and broadband issues. It also includes provisions to tackle climate change through the development of green infrastructure, such as zero-emission vehicles. To view the proposal, please click here.
APTA President and CEO Paul Skoutelas issued a statement applauding the proposed framework as a significant step forward. To view the statement, please click here.
Members of Congress Send Letter to IRS on Commuter Benefits
In our December 17 Legislative Update, we described an important change to the Commuter Tax Benefit that APTA has fought for and was signed into law in H.R. 1865, the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act 2020. In that law, Congress repealed a special unrelated business income tax (UBIT) that was established in 2017 for tax-exempt entities that offer transportation benefits. The repeal is retroactive to the date the tax was enacted.
In a January 8 letter, which you can read here, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal and Subcommittee Chairman John Lewis (D-GA) urged the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to expedite the refund process for tax-exempt entities that have previously paid taxes under this now-repealed provision of the 2017 law.
House Ways and Means Committee Holds Hearing on Funding and Financing Infrastructure Investments
This afternoon, at 1:30 p.m., the House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing entitled Paving the Way for Funding and Financing Infrastructure Investments. For more details on the hearing, please visit the Committee website here.
White House Issues Proposed Rulemaking on National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
On January 10, the White House Council on Environmental Policy (CEQ) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to update its regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The NPRM includes specific time limitations, page limits, and other changes. Comments are due on March 10, 2020.
An APTA summary of the NPRM can be found here. More information from CEQ, including the text of the rule and the dates for public hearings on this matter, can be found here.