San Antonians say psychological well being, housing, and infrastructure amongst finest methods to spend pandemic aid cash

SAN ANTONIO – As the San Antonio City Council decides how to spend the remaining $ 199.4 million in unallocated money from the American Rescue Plan Act, parishioners have made their wishes known.

In a presentation on Thursday to the council members, the city officials presented the results of the various surveys, town hall meetings and meetings with the Small Business Advocacy Commission from the previous months. Housing, infrastructure and economic development were high on the list of immediate spending priorities for community members, while they said mental health, housing and quality childcare were their preferred long-term investments.

The SBAC listed priorities such as access to capital, such as grants or loans; Capacity building through vocational training and financial literacy; and promoting art and tourism.

The city has been allocated $ 326.9 million in ARPA dollars, half of which it has already received. The other half is expected to be received in May 2022.


The city is allowed to use the money for a variety of purposes, including: balancing budget constraints; pay for the public health response to the pandemic; Payment of bonuses for important employees; and water, sewer and broadband infrastructure works.

The city has already committed $ 97.5 million to fill budget gaps from lost revenue over three fiscal years. Council too Set aside $ 30 million to help people in arrears with their electricity and water bills.

On Thursday, city officials recommended allocating $ 35 million to the city’s COVID-19 response, $ 35.95 million for “immediate” community needs and $ 128.45 million for “effective investment.”


City officials suggested two “premium payment” options for city workers, for the several council members had asked.


Depending on their annual income, the first plan would pay employees a bonus of up to $ 3,000 if they worked on-site in the 12 months between March 2020 and March 2021.

This plan would cost $ 10 million and cover 5,920 eligible employees.

However, City Manager Erik Walsh had employees come up with a second plan that would cover all employees – 11,760 of them – and pay up to $ 2,000, depending on their hire date and annual earnings. This plan would cost $ 14.3 million.

“But from my point of view, I think we should treat everyone equally from the point of view of employees,” said Walsh.

While not all city employees would meet the ARPA guidelines for premium payment, which are intended for those who had to work in person during the pandemic, city employees could justify this by using the “revenue replacement” category.

Some councilors called for a third option that would still cover all 11,760 employees but offer a relatively higher bonus for the 5,920 who had to come to work.


City officials noted that none of the other major Texas cities had yet chosen to use ARPA money for bonuses.


The city council has yet to approve the overall framework for the use of the money. This is expected to happen in a February 3rd vote after the city council made adjustments based on Thursday’s discussion.

Thereafter, the council members will assist through various sub-committees in deciding which programs to fund the ARPA money.

Copyright 2021 by KSAT – All rights reserved.

New Jersey ought to put its infrastructure cash into the sewer | Mulshine

It is seldom that Jeff Tittel and I agree on an environmental issue. But here we agree:

“Windmills off the coast don’t keep floods out of people’s cellars,” Tittel told me the other day.

Watery cellars are a subject he is very familiar with. Tittel lives in Lambertville, one of the many cities in New Jersey that have been flooded when Hurricane Ida dropped about 10 inches of rain on the region.

Tittel himself had the foresight to buy a house on relatively high ground, but his neighbors closer to the Delaware River got a good bath.

The issue of wind turbines came up because so many of our politicians used the storm as an example to argue that we need to switch to less fossil fuel generation.

But that’s an argument for another day. For now, it’s about what we’re going to do about the flooding that inundates New Jersey every time a bad storm hits.

I recently wrote about Cranford this Union County town full of lovely Victorian houses that Flooded by Irene in 2011 and then Ida almost exactly 10 years later.

In the case of Cranford, the blame is not on the people who built houses on the Rahway River during the Revolutionary War. The guilt rests with those who paved the land upstream, thereby channeling the rainwater into the city.

The only solution to this is a word that is buzzing around a lot in Washington these days: infrastructure. In the case of the Rahway River, a plan is needed to drain the reservoir upstream from storms, local officials say.

But that costs money. And there is a lot of money to be had in the laws before Congress now. The Biden Administration American establishment plan, which is part of a $ 3.5 trillion spending plan that includes social services such as daycare. Republicans support a $ 1.2 trillion bill that sticks to traditional infrastructure.

Child care is a goal worth striving for. But first things first. And New Jersey is full of things that should be done first. Many of them are in Lambertville

Like Cranford, Lambertville was first settled before the Revolutionary War.

“Washington’s army marched through here and crossed at Lambertville,” Tittel told me. “My point is that there were houses on Ferry and Swan Streets even before the Revolutionary War.”

Much has developed in the hills above the city and the sidewalk will not take in water, he said.

“The soil in the forest will soak up four inches of rainfall during a storm,” he said. “You cut this forest and for every morning you get a million gallons of drainage.”

But Delaware floods are only a small part of the New Jersey problem. A much bigger problem is in the older towns of North Jersey.

Steve Lonegan, the arch-conservative ex-mayor from the Bergen district who ran for national offices several times, told me about the flooding in Hackensack, where he runs a restaurant in Ida, the basement of which was flooded.

“Me and Tittel are on the same page in that regard,” said Lonegan. “This should be the number one infrastructure problem.”

Virtually all older cities have Mixed channel systems that transport both sewage and rainwater. They work well when it’s not raining. But when it rains heavily, the effect is similar to what happens when knowing what hits the fan.

“I have a video of the sewage lifting those big iron manhole covers,” Lonegan said.

But Hackensack has a lot under construction, he said.

“I don’t even know how to add these buildings to this system,” he said. “The sewer system is 100 years old.”

It was worse in Hoboken, said Tittel.

“You get sewage on the streets,” he said. “They even have a pump to send it into the river.”

That’s not the kind of topic politicians like to talk about and our governor doesn’t talk about it. said Tittel.

“He’s talking about windmills and reducing greenhouse gases,” said Tittel. “But we have a serious flood problem. Climate change is part of it, but poor land use patterns and overdevelopment are causing it. “

Whatever the cause, it won’t stop by itself. Ida was particularly bad, but the remnants of Hurricane Henri a week earlier caused severe flooding in Hoboken and other cities in North Jersey as well.

That will happen as long as hurricanes work their way up the coast.

Forever, in other words.

So we’d better start planning.

$1 Trillion Infrastructure Invoice Pours Cash Into Lengthy-Delayed Wants

WASHINGTON – Amtrak würde die größte Geldspritze seit seiner Gründung vor einem halben Jahrhundert erleben. Klimaresilienzprogramme würden den größten Anstieg der Staatsausgaben aller Zeiten erhalten. Das Stromnetz des Landes würde für 73 Milliarden Dollar aufgerüstet.

Der weitläufige 1-Billionen-Dollar-Schein, den der Senat am Montag angenommen hat – ein 2.702-seitiges parteiübergreifendes Abkommen das ist das Produkt monatelanger Verhandlungen und jahrelanger aufgestauter Ambitionen, die bröckelnde Infrastruktur des Landes zu reparieren – würde den größten Staatsausgaben für das alternde öffentliche Bausystem seit 2009 entsprechen.

Es ist auch vollgestopft mit Haustierprojekten und Prioritäten, die fast jede Facette des amerikanischen Lebens berühren, einschließlich der obskursten, wie eine Bestimmung, die es Bluttransportfahrzeugen erlaubt, Fahrgemeinschaften auf Autobahnen zu benutzen, um den Verkehr zu umgehen, wenn frische Fläschchen an Bord sind, und eine andere, um ein Bundeszuschussprogramm zur Förderung „bestäuberfreundlicher Praktiken“ in der Nähe von Straßen und Autobahnen vollständig finanzieren. (Preisschild für letzteres: 2 Millionen US-Dollar pro Jahr.)

Die Maßnahme stellt einen entscheidenden Teil der Wirtschaftsagenda von Präsident Biden dar, und die Vereinbarung, aus der sie hervorging, war ein großer Durchbruch bei seiner Suche nach einem parteiübergreifenden Kompromiss. Aber es war auch bemerkenswert für die Zugeständnisse, die Herr Biden machen musste, um den Deal abzuschließen, darunter weniger Mittel für saubere Energieprojekte, den Austausch von Bleirohren, Transit und Maßnahmen für historisch unterversorgte Gemeinden.

Einige dieser Bestimmungen könnten in den Haushaltsplan der Demokraten aufgenommen werden, der sich voraussichtlich auf 3,5 Billionen US-Dollar belaufen wird und den sie nach Abschluss der Infrastrukturrechnung und einseitig gegen republikanische Einwände durchsetzen.

Das Infrastrukturgesetz, das von einer Gruppe von 10 Republikanern und Demokraten verfasst wurde, könnte sich in den kommenden Tagen noch ändern, da andere Senatoren, die ihre Spuren hinterlassen möchten, die Möglichkeit haben, Änderungsvorschläge zu unterbreiten. Der Senat hat am Montag damit begonnen, Änderungsanträge zu erwägen, weitere sind in den kommenden Tagen möglich.

Aber die Gesetzgebung stellt einen bedeutenden parteiübergreifenden Kompromiss dar, einschließlich 550 Milliarden US-Dollar an neuen Mitteln und der Erneuerung einer Reihe bestehender Verkehrs- und Infrastrukturprogramme, die ansonsten Ende September auslaufen sollen.

Während die Staaten ein weiteres Jahr in Folge mit sich verschlimmernden Naturkatastrophen konfrontiert sind, die von Eisstürmen bis hin zu Waldbränden reichen, umfasst die Maßnahme Milliarden von Dollar, um das Land besser auf die Auswirkungen der globalen Erwärmung und die größte Bundesinvestition in die Stromübertragung in der Geschichte vorzubereiten.

Ein Großteil des Geldes, das dazu bestimmt ist, die Widerstandsfähigkeit des Landes gegenüber extremen Wetterbedingungen zu stärken, würde in Aktivitäten fließen, die bereits im Gange sind, von denen die Regierung jedoch nach Ansicht von Experten mehr tun muss, da die Bedrohungen von Klimawandel Zunahme. Es würde auch neue Ansätze unterstützen, darunter Gelder für „Wassermodellierungsaktivitäten der nächsten Generation“ und Hochwasserkartierungen bei der National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, die auch Mittel zur Vorhersage von Waldbränden erhalten würde.

Das Gesetz sieht auch 73 Milliarden US-Dollar für die Modernisierung des nationalen Stromnetzes vor, was laut Energieanalysten die Grundlage für die Abkehr von fossilen Brennstoffen bilden würde. Aber es enthält nur einen Bruchteil des Geldes, das Herr Biden für große Umweltinitiativen angefordert hat, und verlängert eine Lebensader auf Erdgas und Kernenergie, Bestimmungen, die die Progressiven des Hauses verärgert haben.

Es gibt auch 7,5 Milliarden US-Dollar für saubere Busse und Fähren, aber das reicht bei weitem nicht aus, um innerhalb von fünf Jahren etwa 50.000 Nahverkehrsbusse zu elektrifizieren, wie Biden versprochen hat. Der Gesetzentwurf sieht 7,5 Milliarden US-Dollar für die Entwicklung von Ladestationen für Elektrofahrzeuge im ganzen Land vor, nur die Hälfte der 15 Milliarden US-Dollar, die Herr Biden beantragt hatte, um sein Wahlversprechen zum Bau von 500.000 davon einzuhalten.

Der Gesetzentwurf würde 15 Milliarden US-Dollar für die Entfernung von Lead-Service-Leitungen im ganzen Land bereitstellen, verglichen mit den 45 Milliarden US-Dollar, die Herr Biden gefordert hatte, und die 60 Milliarden US-Dollar, die nach Ansicht der führenden Vertreter des Wassersektors erforderlich sind, um die Arbeit zu erledigen.

Die Gesetzgebung umfasst auch mehr als 300 Millionen US-Dollar für die Entwicklung von Technologien zur Abscheidung und Speicherung von Kohlendioxidemissionen aus Kraftwerken und 6 Milliarden US-Dollar zur Unterstützung von angeschlagenen Kernreaktoren. Es weist den Energieminister an, eine Studie über den Verlust von Arbeitsplätzen im Zusammenhang mit der Entscheidung von Herrn Biden, die Keystone XL-Pipeline zu kündigen, durchzuführen.

Als einer der wenigen großen Gesetzesentwürfe, die wahrscheinlich während dieses Kongresses verabschiedet werden, ist die Infrastrukturmaßnahme zu einem Magneten für die Lobbyarbeit von Industrien im ganzen Land geworden – und von den Gesetzgebern, deren Stimmen benötigt werden, um sie durchzusetzen, von denen viele den Montag damit verbrachten, dies hervorzuheben Mittel für ihre obersten Prioritäten.


August 5, 2021, 5:49 Uhr ET

Für das Quartett der Senatoren, das die Legionen der Bundesangestellten repräsentiert, die die Washington Metro benutzen – die Senatoren Tim Kaine und Mark Warner aus Virginia sowie Benjamin L. Cardin und Chris Van Hollen aus Maryland, alle Demokraten – gab es eine kritische jährliche Neuautorisierung von 150 Millionen US-Dollar für das Transitsystem über ein Jahrzehnt.

Das Gesetz würde die Finanzierung des Wiederaufbaus einer Autobahn in Alaska, dem Heimatstaat von Senatorin Lisa Murkowski, einer wichtigen Verhandlungsführerin der Republikaner, autorisieren. Sondermittel werden für die Appalachian Regional Commission bereitgestellt, eine Bundesbehörde für wirtschaftliche Entwicklung, deren Co-Vorsitzende Gayle Manchin ist, die Frau von Senator Joe Manchin III von West Virginia, einer der Hauptautoren des Gesetzes und eine wichtige demokratische Swing-Abstimmung. Herr Manchin half auch bei der Beschaffung von Geldern, um verlassenes Minenland in Staaten wie seinem zu säubern.

Das Gesetz würde Mittel für einzelne Projekte im ganzen Land bereitstellen, darunter 1 Milliarde Dollar für die Wiederherstellung der Großen Seen, 24 Millionen Dollar für die San Francisco Bay, 106 Millionen Dollar für den Long Island Sound und 238 Millionen Dollar für die Chesapeake Bay.

Es beinhaltet auch neue Mittel in Höhe von 66 Milliarden US-Dollar für den Schienenverkehr, um den Wartungsstau von Amtrak zu beheben, sowie die Modernisierung des stark frequentierten Nordostkorridors von Washington nach Boston. Für Herrn Biden, einen Amtrak-Anhänger, der eine geschätzte 8.000 Hin- und Rückfahrten auf der Linie, es ist ein Schritt zur Erfüllung seines Versprechens, zu injizieren Milliarden in die Schiene.

Da Republikaner und einige gemäßigte Demokraten dagegen sind, die steigenden Schulden der Nation zu erhöhen, enthält die Gesetzgebung ein Flickwerk von Finanzierungsmechanismen, obwohl einige fiskalische Falken viele von ihnen als unzureichend bezeichnet haben.

Um die Gesetzgebung zu bezahlen, hat der Gesetzgeber teilweise 200 Milliarden US-Dollar an ungenutzten Geldern aus früheren Pandemie-Hilfsprogrammen verwendet, die im Jahr 2020 verabschiedet wurden.

Dazu gehören 53 Milliarden US-Dollar an erweiterten Arbeitslosengeldern, die wiederverwendet werden können, da sich die Wirtschaft schneller erholt als prognostiziert, und weil viele Staaten ihre Pandemie-Arbeitslosenversicherungszahlungen aus Sorge eingestellt haben, dass die Subventionen die Menschen davon abhalten, wieder ins Erwerbsleben einzusteigen.

Der Gesetzentwurf umfasst mehr als 30 Milliarden US-Dollar, die für ein Katastrophenkreditprogramm der Small Business Administration bereitgestellt wurden – aber nicht ausgegeben wurden –, das qualifizierten Unternehmen zinsgünstige Kredite und kleine Zuschüsse bietet. Dieses Programm wurde gehindert durch sich ändernde Regeln und Bürokratie und hat Bargeld viel langsamer ausgezahlt, als der Kongress (und viele Bewerber) erwartet hatten.

Auch übrig gebliebene Mittel aus anderen aufgegebenen Programmen würden umprogrammiert. Dazu gehören 3 Milliarden US-Dollar, die nie in Hilfsfonds für Flugpersonal eingesetzt wurden.

Marc Goldwein vom Center for a Responsible Federal Budget sagte, dass nur etwa 50 Milliarden US-Dollar der geschätzten 200 Milliarden US-Dollar echte Kosteneinsparungen darstellten. Der Rest, sagte er, beläuft sich auf „Cherry Picking“-Zahlen und behauptete Einsparungen aus prognostizierten Kosten, die nicht eingetreten sind.

Eine Analyse der Gesetzgebung durch den Gemeinsamen Steuerausschuss des Kongresses schätzt, dass die Gesetzgebung in einem Jahrzehnt Einnahmen in Höhe von 51 Milliarden US-Dollar erzielen könnte, während das Budgetbüro des Kongresses voraussichtlich bereits in dieser Woche Prognosen zu den Gesamtkosten veröffentlichen wird.

Die Gesetzgebung sieht auch eine strengere Kontrolle der Kryptowährung durch den IRS vor. Aber ein Lobbying-Schub der Industrie in letzter Minute, um die Sprache zu verwässern, war erfolgreich. was zu einer Reduzierung der neuen Anforderungen führt.

Dennoch wird prognostiziert, dass die Rückstellung über ein Jahrzehnt 28 Milliarden US-Dollar einbringen wird.

Da die Vereinigten Staaten nach wie vor sowohl von den Folgen der Coronavirus-Pandemie als auch von einem Ansturm von Waldbränden, Dürren, Überschwemmungen und anderen Wetterkatastrophen heimgesucht werden, zielt die Gesetzgebung darauf ab, ihre Unterstützung auf unterversorgte Gemeinden auszurichten, die historisch gesehen zusätzliche Unterstützung des Bundes benötigen.

Aber während Herr Biden 20 Milliarden US-Dollar für Projekte gefordert hatte, die helfen sollten, Schwarze Nachbarschaften wieder verbinden und Farbgemeinschaften, die durch vergangene Bauarbeiten zersplittert oder benachteiligt wurden, sieht die Gesetzgebung nur 1 Milliarde US-Dollar vor, von denen die Hälfte neue Bundesmittel sind, über einen Zeitraum von fünf Jahren für das Programm. Die Gesetzgebung schafft auch ein neues Zuschussprogramm in Höhe von 2 Milliarden US-Dollar zum Ausbau von Straßen, Brücken und anderen Landverkehrsprojekten in ländlichen Gebieten.

Der Gesetzentwurf würde die Unterstützung für Stammesregierungen und Gemeinschaften der amerikanischen Ureinwohner erhöhen und ein Büro im Verkehrsministerium schaffen, das auf ihre Bedürfnisse eingehen soll. Es würde dem Bureau of Indian Affairs 216 Millionen US-Dollar für Klimaresilienz und Anpassung für indigene Nationen bereitstellen, die unverhältnismäßig verletzt durch den Klimawandel. Mehr als die Hälfte dieses Geldes, 130 Millionen US-Dollar, würde für die „Umsiedlung von Gemeinden“ verwendet werden, um einigen indigenen Gemeinden dabei zu helfen, sich aus gefährdeten Gebieten zu entfernen.

Es würde auch dazu beitragen, den Zugang zu fließendem Wasser und anderen sanitären Einrichtungen in Stammesgemeinschaften und Dörfern der Ureinwohner Alaskas zu verbessern, wobei der Gesetzgeber entschlossen ist, sich um alle bestehenden Projektbedürfnisse zu kümmern.

„Wir haben immer noch ein extremes Defizit, wenn es um unsere Stammesgemeinschaften geht“, sagte Murkowski in einer Rede im Senat und fügte hinzu, dass die Finanzierungshöhe „beispiellos“ sei. “Wir müssen unseren Ureinwohnern Recht geben.”

Neben altmodischen öffentlichen Bauprojekten wie Straßen, Brücken und Autobahnen haben die Senatoren 65 Milliarden US-Dollar aufgenommen, um schwer erreichbare ländliche Gemeinden mit dem Hochgeschwindigkeits-Internet zu verbinden und bei der Anmeldung zu helfen einkommensschwache Städter, die es sich nicht leisten können. Andere gesetzliche Änderungen zielen darauf ab, den Wettbewerb und die Transparenz zwischen den Dienstanbietern zu fördern, was dazu beitragen könnte, die Preise zu senken.

Offizielle Schätzungen gehen auseinander, aber die meisten deuten darauf hin, dass Millionen von Amerikanern keinen zuverlässigen Zugang zu Hochgeschwindigkeitsinternet haben, viele von ihnen Farbige, Mitglieder ländlicher Gemeinschaften oder andere einkommensschwache Gruppen. Dieser Bedarf, sagte der Gesetzgeber, wurde durch Sperren während der Pandemie verschärft, die Arbeit und Schule von zu Hause aus erforderten.

Herr Biden hatte ursprünglich 100 Milliarden Dollar vorgeschlagen, um zu versuchen, diese Zahl auf Null zu bringen, aber er stimmte zu, den Preis zu senken, um einen Kompromiss mit den Republikanern zu erzielen. Die Demokraten kämpften auch um die Aufnahme von Gesetzen, um Staaten zu ermutigen, umfassende Pläne zu entwickeln, um sicherzustellen, dass der Zugang zum Hochgeschwindigkeitsinternet gerecht auf traditionell unterversorgte Gruppen verteilt wird, und sie über den Zugang zu digitalen Ressourcen aufzuklären.

Nicholas Fandos, Lisa Friedman, Madeleine Ngo, Luke Broadwater und Stacy Cowley trugen zur Berichterstattung bei.

Colorado’s portion of infrastructure cash nears $5 billion | Western Colorado

Colorado would see nearly $ 5 billion from President Joe Biden’s infrastructure measure, which is now being debated in the US Senate, the White House said on Wednesday.

Under the $ 1 trillion infrastructural investment and jobs bill, which is initially supported by both parties in the Senate, Colorado’s stake would be used for highways, bridges, public transportation, electric vehicle charging stations, and high-speed broadband, according to a breakdown Money from White House officials.

These are exactly the same things that Governor Jared Polis asked Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to include in any federal infrastructure bill in July.

“For decades, the infrastructure in Colorado has suffered from a systemic lack of investment,” said a White House statement. “In fact, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave Colorado a C rating on their infrastructure certificate.”

The money the state is expected to receive if the bill in its current form passes all of Congress would be almost the same amount the state expects from a new transportation finance measure approved by the Colorado Legislature earlier this year, and this would be the case in less than half the time.

This new law, SB260, would raise $ 5.7 billion over 11 years by introducing new charges on gasoline, electric vehicles, and delivery services, to name a few.

Most of the federal infrastructure money in Colorado, $ 3.7 billion over five years, would go to highways across the state and another $ 225 million to the bridges.

Another $ 917 million could go to the state for public transportation projects, also over five years, and $ 57 million would be used for EV charging stations. The state could also compete for more grant funds for more broadcasters.

Ultimately, the infrastructure measure would allocate $ 100 million to expand the broadband network, especially for those who do not have it or have inferior service. It would also give low-income Coloradans access to scholarship programs to pay monthly internet access fees.

The White House added that more details on what the state will receive will be revealed in the coming weeks.

Poughkeepsie, Uncharted intention to avoid wasting metropolis cash, enhance infrastructure

Jessica O. Matthews has set herself the goal of solving the country’s infrastructure problems – starting with the ones that crop up in Poughkeepsie, near the country.

As the founder and CEO of Uncharted, Matthews realized that it was possible to streamline various technological aspects of the city in order to ultimately improve its infrastructure.

Everyday things citizens do – like park their car, log into the internet, and access the energy that powers their smartphones, computers, and other items – can function even smarter. And it can save the city money too.

“The way we built the infrastructure across the country is not going to work. And it’s getting worse, “said Matthews.” Our main goal is to solve this problem without it costing more money, and to do it in a way that makes people feel like they are part of the growth, not, that it happens to them. ”

Uncharted’s pilot program on Cannon Street, which began in October 2020, showed how smart sensors test things like air quality, temperature and vibrations in the ground, as well as smart batteries that act as backup systems for critical infrastructure and mini-computers, who can “analyze everything.”

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By collecting this information, Uncharted is able to streamline the city’s technology into a single dashboard that can be analyzed and used to reduce utility costs.

In many smart cities, collected data ends up scattered, but with Uncharted’s dashboard, the information ends up in a central location, which makes analysis easier. And residents shouldn’t worry, the data collected only relates to the infrastructure.

“What we have been using are these little computers that can tell if something is important or not,” said Matthews.

The data signals whether there is a problem. When a fire or other problem occurs, the computers will report and send this information so that the problem can be resolved.

“The next step for us to scale in Poughkeepsie is to understand which of their current infrastructure or technology partners we could work with and help them cut their costs so that Poughkeepsie can realize cost savings over time “Said Matthews.

In the Innovation District on Cannon Street, sidewalks are being replaced with Uncharted modular, serviceable paving stones.

The pilot was free to Poughkeepsie, and its sensors that track what is working and what is not could potentially save the city hundreds of thousands in annual pavement and street maintenance costs. While Uncharted pushes its work forward and works with the city’s current vendors, the company will also look for local employees depending on the projects they take on.

The pilot program is funded with a $ 1.8 million grant from Siegel Family Endowment and the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley.

Jessica O. Matthews, CEO of Uncharted Power, speaks to residents on a city street in this photo.

Before Uncharted extends its technology beyond Cannon Street, the company must figure out what problems the community is trying to solve. Matthews sees Poughkeepsie as having the potential to become a city of innovation, a place where people move to do what they need to do, rather than somewhere like Manhattan.

Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison has already seen the positive impact of Uncharted on the city.

“They had confidence in working with the city to see that this pilot could take place here,” said Rolison. “And now that it comes to fruition and it’s been a success, also from an economic point of view, of one goal, their headquarters being here, it brings more to our city because Uncharted has chosen to be here with us.”

In the Innovation District on Cannon Street, sidewalks are being replaced with Uncharted modular, serviceable paving stones.

Matthews has an analogy that he likes to use to describe what Uncharted is about.

“It’s like going to a buffet and seeing all these different foods,” she said, “when you know you’re hungry but don’t have a tray to actually carry and bring the food to the table and to eat. We are the tray. It’s not the sexiest thing, but you need it. “

Uncharted is ready to know what Poughkeepsie residents want to eat – or improve in their community.

Isabel Keane reports on trending news for The Journal News, Poughkeepsie Journal, and Times Herald-Record. click here for their latest stories. Follow her on Twitter @ijkeane.

How a lot cash may Biden elevate for infrastructure by way of more durable IRS enforcement? It is not clear

Posted by Katie Lobosco, CNN

President Joe Biden seeks to raise money for its ambitious economic agenda by stepping up enforcement with the Internal Revenue Service – a way for the federal government to spend more money without raising taxes or increasing the deficit, making it a win in the eyes of lawmakers. Makes a win situation.

The latest infrastructure proposal Agreeing with the White House and a bipartisan group of Senators, the IRS is killing an additional $ 100 billion over the next 10 years simply by stepping up enforcement and making sure the government collects what taxpayers actually owe – aka to close the “tax gap”.

Biden also suggested earlier this year that if he could increase the IRS’s budget by $ 80 billion to pay for enforcement, he could increase government revenues by $ 700 billion over 10 years – money, that he used to finance his. would use American family plan, who would invest in childcare, pre-K, and colleges.

However, it is unclear exactly how much could be raised and how much it would cost to increase enforcement. This is how it could work:

How much tax is left unpaid?

The difference between the amount legally owed and the amount actually paid to the IRS – known as the “tax gap” – could be anywhere from $ 381 billion to $ 1 trillion annually.

The latest IRS report available says that nearly 84% of federal taxes are paid voluntarily and on time, causing $ 441 billion in default. After late payments and enforcement actions, the gap narrowed to $ 381 billion, the report said.

But that’s based on 2011, 2012, and 2013 tax years, and IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig told lawmakers earlier this year that he believes the tax gap could be much bigger now – up to a massive $ 1 trillion a year.

One reason the earlier report underestimated the tax gap? The use of has increased virtual currencies since 2013, which comes with new compliance challenges. The earlier estimates may also have underestimated unreported offshore revenue and the use of transit companies.

The Biden administration put the number somewhere in the middle. One recently Treasury analysis noted that the tax gap was nearly $ 600 billion in 2019 and could rise to about $ 7 trillion over the next decade if left unchecked – roughly 15% of taxes owed.

How much can actually still be collected?

It is unlikely that the IRS will ever be able to bring the tax gap to zero, no matter how much they step up enforcement.

The agreement between a bipartisan group of senators and the White House suggests they believe another $ 100 billion could be raised over 10 years – and they plan to use that money to fund infrastructure investments.

“We think this is spot on,” said John Ricco, associate director of policy analysis at Penn Wharton Budget Model, the analyzed the bipartisan proposal.

A separate report from the Congressional Budget Office also suggests it can be done, though it depends on how much is being spent to bolster the IRS. It said the agency could raise an additional $ 61 billion over 10 years if it spends an additional $ 20 billion on investigations and collections, or an additional $ 103 billion if it spends $ 40 billion over 10 years would spend.

Who doesn’t pay?

The tax gap highlights how some people and businesses are failing to pay their fair share. But it’s not just the result of bad actors trying to evade the tax officer. Some of them are also accidental mistakes.

“Failure to comply with tax laws is often associated with unintentional errors that can be traced back to the fact that the now extremely complex tax law was not fully understood,” wrote Rettig in a current memo.

Most unpaid taxes result from people reporting less income than they earned, especially income from businesses and self-employment. About 9% of the loophole is due to failure to file and 11% to underpayment of taxes, which, according to the Committee for a responsible federal budget.

The Biden government has announced that it will address the rich with more assertiveness. A report from former Treasury Secretary Larry Summer and Natasha Sarin, assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania, found that high-income individuals tend to under-report their income because more of it comes from opaque categories such as dividend income, capital gains, and property income.

Can the IRS catch up?

The agency is tight on cash and needs a bigger budget to hire more staff if it is to close the tax gap.

Their budget has shrunk by 20% over the past decade, resulting in a 22% reduction in staff. With fewer people working on enforcement, the percentage of individual income tax returns examined decreased by 46%, and the percentage of corporate tax returns examined fell 37% between 2010 and 2018, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

The agency was still burdened during the pandemic when many of its employees were sent to work from home while Congress increased its workload by hiring the IRS to distribute three rounds of stimulus payments and the new, expanded child tax credit.

The CNN Wire
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Downtown Revitalization Staff places concentrate on infrastructure, leisure in ultimate plan

As COVID-19 restrictions expire this month and companies try to get customers through their doors, city guides keep pushing to revitalize the downtown area. Over the past few months, Mayor Greg Fischer and other city guides have been focusing on how to revive an area of ​​Louisville that was not only badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, but closed because it fell after the deadly shootings Breonna Taylor the site of the ongoing social justice movement, companies were slowly reopening and increasing capacity, Fischer formed the Downtown Revitalization Team to come up with ideas to bring business back downtown. The team presented its final report on Tuesday. The group made recommendations totaling more than $ 13 million before improving public infrastructure, safety, environmental efforts and equity. Executives said the goal is to make the area better than it was before, so here are some of the action items: hiring new ambassadors for the Business Improvement District, improving the RiverWalk from 3rd Street to 7th Street, hosting free open air concerts with the Louisville OrchestraPlan events in the downtown area, including the Whiskey Alley event series, The Black Out: Arts Festival on the Belvedere and Broadway Under the StarsReplace street lightsDevelop a main calendar and mobile application highlighting businesses, events and notable destinations in the downtown area Due to the success of the Plan, efforts are divided into completion windows that are spread over 30, 60, 90, and 120 days. Click here to learn more about the Revitalization Plan Budget and Federal Aid Dollars at Hand. Some of the actions outlined in the plan will be dependent on either budgetary funds or economic funds. The team of more than 100 plans to continue working with the city to prioritize and implement their recommendations once funding is secured.

As COVID-19 restrictions expire this month and companies try to get customers through their doors, city guides continue to scramble to revitalize downtown.

Over the past few months, Mayor Greg Fischer and other city leaders have focused on revitalizing an area of ​​Louisville that has not only been badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, but has also been closed for being the site of ongoing social events following the Justice Movement fatal shootout at Breonna Taylor.

Fast forward to spring, and with stores reopening slowly and capacity increasing, Fischer formed the Downtown Revitalization Team to come up with ideas to bring the business back downtown.

The team presented its final report on Tuesday.

The group has made more than $ 13 million in recommendations to improve public infrastructure, safety, environmental efforts and equity. The guides said the goal was to make the area better than it was before.

Here are some of the action items:

  • Hiring of new ambassadors for the Business Improvement District
  • Improvement of the RiverWalk from 3rd Street to 7th Street
  • Host free outdoor concerts with the Louisville Orchestra
  • Plan for events downtown, including the Whiskey Alley series of events, The Black Out: Arts Festival on the Belvedere, and Broadway Under the Stars
  • Replace street lights
  • Developed a main calendar and mobile application highlighting businesses, events and notable destinations in the city center
  • Growing marketing efforts around the “Downtown Strong” and “Lou Needs You” campaigns

To ensure the success of the plan, efforts are broken down into completion windows that are spread over 30, 60, 90, and 120 days.

Click here to learn more about the revitalization plan

Fischer said he was optimistic about the path for the city given the state of the budget and federal aid available. Some of the actions outlined in the plan will be dependent on either budget funding or economic funds.

The team of more than 100 plans to continue working with the city to prioritize and implement their recommendations once funding is secured.

Freeway infrastructure: Obama stimulus has classes as Biden proposes transportation cash

With President Biden planning a far larger $ 600 billion program in transportation spending, Maryland Road highlights what critics have cited as flaws in the earlier program: It was too small, not geared towards reshaping the country’s road network, and theirs Benefits were difficult to measure. Experts say the post-recession effort compares best to the Biden government’s proposals – and can expose pitfalls that should be avoided 12 years later.

New Hampshire Avenue is now riddled with cracks and potholes. Sidewalks put pedestrians close to cars passing at 40 mph.

The Maryland State Highway Administration said the road is about two-thirds of its life and that while some cracking and deterioration is expected, it is in good condition.

Rep. Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.), Who as chairman of the House Transportation Committee will play a key role in attempting to steer Biden’s package through Congress, voted against the 2009 legislation, disappointed with the size of its infrastructure component.

“They resurfaced highways and bridges that were falling apart,” he said. “It wasn’t an infrastructure bill.”

The Department of Transportation reviewed the program at the end of Obama’s second term and concluded that the quality of roads and bridges improved following the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and that a new grant fund and money for bullet trains boosted investment . The money improved 42,000 miles of road and repaired 2,700 bridges. In addition, 12,000 buses and 700 wagons were purchased and 800 airport projects financed, the department said.

Ray LaHood, Obama’s first transportation secretary, said the money did what it was supposed to do. He said Biden’s role in overseeing the 2009 spending as vice president prepared him to follow up on the new package.

“He was so closely involved in the last bill and the chair of our task force that we met every week,” said LaHood. “He really kept his thumb on the process.”

Even so, LaHood acknowledged the disappointment of some Congressmen that the Obama administration hadn’t done more. He recalled bringing the news to lawmakers that the government would not support a gas tax-funded proposal for highways and transit.

But this time Lahood said things are different.

“There will be an enormous amount more money,” he said. “It’s going to bring a tremendous amount more people to work and really attack the dire state of the infrastructure.”

Beyond the size of the proposed spending, there are other significant differences between the Funding of the Redevelopment Act and what the White House is currently pursuing. The focus today is less on injecting money into the economy immediately, as Congress has already approved trillions of short-term spending to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead, the plan describes efforts to modernize existing roads, build networks that are more resilient to extreme weather conditions, and eliminate longstanding racial injustices in the design of urban roads.

In 2009, the federal highway administration and other agencies pumped money through existing programs that federal and state officials were familiar with. Achieving Biden’s goals would likely need to establish new rules that could potentially slow the financial burden on the economy while prioritizing road safety and the environment.

For Beth Osborne, director of the Transportation For America advocacy group, setting goals to bring the road network up to date is critical.

“Our existing program didn’t clear the backlog, and it wasn’t because there wasn’t enough money,” Osborne said, adding that money was being used to upgrade roads rather than repair them. “If we really want to fix things, we have to be clear about it.”

When reviewing the program in 2011, the Government Accountability Office found that the transportation department had not done enough to track the benefits. Officials told the Congressional Guard it was next to impossible to separate the effects of restoration funds from other transportation dollars.

“DOT will not be able to report results such as reducing travel time,” the reviewers wrote.

The money was essentially offered to states for free, as opposed to typical federal road funds that require states to pay one dollar for every four dollars they accept. However, the law asked states to pledge not to cut their own transportation spending. A regulation that 21 states did not follow, according to the GAO review.

Bill Dupor, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, completed Despite a $ 28 billion increase in federal highway funding, the system “found no significant improvement.” The reason could be that federal money “displaced” government spending: Dupor’s analysis showed that each additional federal dollar only increased total spending by 19 cents.

But Dupor said the situation is different today. Public finances have been hit by the coronavirus pandemic but have recovered faster than in the previous recession. The challenge for states now could be to manage the size of the new proposed package, although Dupor said that would likely be a short-term problem as it progresses.

Shoshana Lew, who served as Treasurer of the Transportation Department in overseeing Recovery Act money, now heads Colorado’s Transportation division. She said the experience she and many of her colleagues had from the last recession prepared them to put in a new infusion of money.

“The Recovery Act created some muscle memory for spending stimulus dollars,” she said.

Biden’s infrastructure plan will bolster the U.S. semiconductor business: Commerce Secretary

The White House infrastructure plan will make the US more on par with China as it strengthens the US semiconductor industry, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said on Wednesday.

“This is about outperforming China,” CNBC’s Raimondo Jim Cramer said in a “Bad money“Interview.” If we act now … we will compete with China. It is time to do this to rebuild, especially to put in semiconductors, but we have to get to work to do this. “

The comments came moments after President Joe Biden unveiled a $ 2 trillion package primarily tailored to bridges, roads and other transport initiatives. The proposal also calls for a $ 50 billion investment in semiconductor manufacturing and research.

A global chip shortage, compounded by the high demand for computers and other technological products during the coronavirus pandemic, has put American manufacturers under pressure. For example, ford It will be announced on Wednesday Reduction of automobile production in several North American plants due to the low supply of semiconductors.

Raimondo, who left the Rhode Island governor’s home to join the Biden administration, said semiconductors are “the building blocks of a future economy and a digital economy.” Investing in semiconductor manufacturing will pave the way for basic research, more foundry jobs, professional training and advanced manufacturing, she said.

“I am confident that when the business community big and small has the opportunity to delve into this package, it will find that it is all about competing and winning now and in the future. That is good for business and.” good for workers. ” She said.

The Biden government aims to pass an infrastructure law by the summer. The title “The American Jobs Plan” includes spending to combat climate change, improve drinking water infrastructure, expand broadband access and lay the foundations for electric vehicle capability.

The package could face some hurdles in Congress, despite the Democrats’ power advantage. Democrats hold a slight majority in the House and a 50:50 tiebreaker in the Senate. However, Republicans are preparing to object to the size of the package and the White House’s plan to pay for it.

Traders are pouring massive cash into the infrastructure behind NFTs

The “non-fungible token” hype that is raging across the country has fueled appetite for the backbone of the phenomenon.

Driving messages: Investors invest a lot of money in the infrastructure of the phenomenon – they bet it will stay here.

Catching up quickly: The staggering amounts of money spent to own a digital version of art – or newspaper covers, trading cards, memes, as you call them – verified through blockchain have been cited as a side effect of the wider market hype.

What you say: The infrastructure behind NFTs “has improved tremendously in recent years. … protocols, applications, and developers can quickly scale to meet demand,” said Matt Beck, director of investments at venture capital firm Digital Currency Group.

  • “”Interest in NFTs is likely to remain even if prices cool in the face of a major financial downturn. “

The company behind the virtual trading card website NBA Top Shot said it Tuesday Raised $ 305 million – the largest financing round to date for an NFT-focused company. (Valuation: $ 2.6 billion).

  • NFT marketplace SuperRare said today it raised $ 9 million.
  • OpenSea, another platform for selling and buying NFTs, said last week it raised $ 23 million.

By the numbers: NFT-related startups raised $ 35 million in the past year, according to Pitchbook.

  • The funding rounds listed above (by no means exhaustive) are already more than nine times as high – and it’s only March.

The bottom line: As long as NFTs are hot, so will its ecosystem.