TAX INCENTIVES FOR WATER INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT INVESTMENT
WHEREAS, increasing public investment in our nation’s water infrastructure system is critical to meet existing and future demands, ensure water supply reliability, and comply with more stringent drinking water quality standards; and
WHEREAS, Representatives Xavier Becerra (D-CA) and Jon Porter(R-NV) introduced H.R. 3452 in the 110th Congress that would authorize use of “Clean Renewable Water Supply Bonds” (CREWS) to finance water supply projects, including water recycling facilities, ground water remediation, and both ocean water and brackish groundwater desalination projects; and
WHEREAS, innovative water supply projects that promote water recycling, desalination, and groundwater cleanup activities can help significantly reduce dependence on increasingly strained water supplies; and
WHEREAS, the CREWS bonds are modeled after the overwhelmingly successful Clean Renewable Energy Bond program that supports and promotes public renewable energy projects; and
WHEREAS, the CREWS bonds would provide a creative financing option whereby local public water agencies effectively receive an interest free loan on issuance of conventional tax-exempt municipal bonds, but instead of the agency making interest payments to the holders of the bond, the bondholders receive a federal tax credit equal to those projected interest payments;and
WHEREAS, it is estimated by some industry stakeholder groups that enacting a CREWS bill will, over the next ten years, generate $7.8 billion of capital dedicated to new water supply projects and that those projects would create 1.8 billion gallons of water per day for annual usage – enough to meet the annual needs of over four million 4-person families.
WHEREAS, The U.S. Conference of Mayors understands the importance in developing new clean water sources while also recognizing that associated capital expenditures necessary to build new water system infrastructure is oftentimes too high to use conventional financing mechanisms to generate capital for new and innovative water supply projects.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors supports the “Clean Renewable Water Supply Act” and urges Congress to enact legislation that would provide a range of federal tax assistance for public water infrastructure projects.