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Published on Friday, December 15, 2017

AWC works to develop its economic development priority

In their September 29 board meeting, the AWC Board of Directors added economic development to their list of 2018 legislative priorities. Over the course of the last two months, AWC staff have been working with interested stakeholders to develop the specific policies around this priority.

Specifically, staff have reached out to targeted city officials and stakeholders to research which types of economic development incentives and policies are working in our communities, which are not working, and which cities do not have access to incentives but would like to, and other barriers to development in our communities.

On December 11, a group of city officials gathered at AWC to narrow the policy priorities for the 2018 session and strategize a larger economic development plan for after the 2018 session. While the priorities still need formal adoption by AWC, they will likely include but are not limited to:

2018 focus

  • Continue to actively support programs that work for cities, such as the Public Works Trust Fund (PWTF), the Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB), and the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB).
  • Focus on rural cities and their needs, such as rural broadband access and programs that incentivize development. AWC staff will also explore some of the regulatory hurdles that have disincentivized rural economic development.
  • The mainstreet program – AWC will support legislation to increase the tax credit limit and make permanent changes made in 2017 that will expire in 2019.

Longer term

  • Tax increment financing/Local revitalization fund programs – AWC will pursue opportunities to permanently establish and fund programs that help finance economic development in both urban and rural communities.
  • Workforce development – AWC will explore partnerships with our education community.
  • AWC will examine the possibility of reestablishing an economic development office/lead/director within state government to assist local communities in their economic development pursuits.

This list is not meant to be exhaustive and AWC staff will continue to reach out to perfect our priority moving forward. If you have feedback please contact Jane Wall, Government Relations Advocate, who serves as AWC’s lead on the issue.