NACo welcomes financial rescue bill
The Washington-based National Association of Counties (NACo) says the controversial financial rescue bill signed into law last week, which authorizes the U.S. Treasury Department to purchase $700 billion in troubled assets from lending institutions, contains several important priorities for the nation’s 3,068 counties. Several provisions added to the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 to encourage its passage address legislation NACo has been fighting for during the 110th Congress.
The act reauthorizes the Secure Rural Schools program through 2011; funds the Payment in Lieu of Taxes program through 2012; extends expiring production tax credits for wind, solar and geothermal projects; continues for two more years the deduction of state and local sales taxes on federal returns; and requires insurance companies to cover mental health and addiction treatment on par with physical healthcare. “Counties are facing a serious financial crisis not seen in many years as a result of shrinking revenues, record-high gas and energy prices, and, more recently, a municipal credit crunch, which is making it extremely difficult and more expensive for counties to borrow money,” NACo Executive Director Larry Naake said in a statement. “While the complete solution for the crisis that counties are facing is not contained in the financial rescue package, it will be a big first step toward financial stability for communities.”
For more information on NACo’s response to the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, go to www.naco.org.