Connecting state and local government leaders
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will chair the group.
With President Trump promising to put forward a plan for significant new investment in the nation’s infrastructure, a group representing U.S. mayors said Friday they would form a new task force to work with the White House and Congress as the spending package takes shape.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors said that Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti would chair the task force. He will also represent the conference during an annual event in Washington, D.C., later this month known as Infrastructure Week, which is focused on raising awareness about issues related to roads, bridges, sewer systems, the energy grid and other public works.
Garcetti is among the big city mayors who have been at odds with some of Trump’s policy priorities outside of infrastructure—such as the GOP-led effort to repeal and replace the health care law commonly called Obamacare, and the president’s hardline stance on immigration.
Trump has said he wants a $1 trillion infrastructure package that would rely on both public and private investment. His budget director, Mick Mulvaney, indicated in April that the White House may propose contributing about $200 billion in federal taxpayer dollars toward that amount.
State and local government groups, including the National Association of Counties and the National Governors Association, have been discussing the plan with administration officials.
Beyond funding for projects, a priority for these groups and for the mayors, is preserving a tax exemption for interest earned on municipal bonds. The tax break is believed to keep borrowing costs down for states and localities. Leaders of the U.S. Conference of Mayors brought up the tax break to Trump himself during a meeting in December.
Members of the conference have also said in recent months that they’d like to see more federal funding for infrastructure projects flow directly to cities, rather than through states.
Bill Lucia is a Senior Reporter for Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.
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