Hoeven Holds Meeting with Minot Leaders to Plan Next Steps for Comprehensive Flood Protection
Year-End Funding Bill Provides Provisions for Flood Protection, Minot Air Force Base, Tax Relief
MINOT, N.D. –Senator John Hoeven today hosted a meeting with state and local officials to plan the steps going forward for building comprehensive flood protection for Minot and the region. The senator outlined key provisions in the year-end funding legislation Congress passed last week that will support their efforts. In addition, he outlined provisions in the measure to support Minot Air Force Base and provide tax relief for farmers, ranchers and small businesses.
“In the year-end funding legislation we passed last week, we secured authorization and funding for new project studies, which are essential for communities like Minot that are working to advance a comprehensive flood protection project,” Hoeven said. “The legislation also includes priorities that will strengthen national security, including provisions for Minot Air Force Base, which hosts two legs of the nation’s nuclear triad. The measure also provides real tax relief for farmers, ranchers and small businesses, who will now be able to expense equipment and repairs at the current limit because we’ve worked to make Section 179 permanent.”
- Permanent Flood Protection – As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Hoeven worked to include critical authorization and funding for new project starts and construction in the FY 2016 budget. The measure provides nearly $690 million more than the Army Corps of Engineer’s proposed budget for new studies and construction activity that will help to advance the permanent flood protection project in the Minot region. Hoeven worked on the Appropriations Committee to include language in the FY 2016 Energy and Water funding bill, which has now been included in the year-end legislation. Specifically, the legislation will:
- Provide permission for the Corps to begin studies of new permanent flood protection projects, which is vital for communities like Minot, as well as the Souris River basin, to build comprehensive flood protection.
- Help communities in N.D. build permanent flood protection projects with an emphasis on public private partnerships (P3).
- Include additional funding for FEMA’s flood mapping activities. It directs FEMA to take local communities’ flood protection projects into consideration when mapping flood hazards and to coordinate the mapping process with the phases of large projects.
- The measure provides an additional $165 million above the FY 2015 level for flood mitigation programs and boosts the Flood Hazard Mapping and Risk Analysis Program by $66 million, from $124 million to $190 million and the Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Grant Program to $100 million.
- Support for Minot Air Force Base – The year-end appropriations measure prioritizes the need for a strong military strengthening the nation’s nuclear triad of bombers, land-based and submarine-based missiles.
- Cruise Missile Warhead – Includes full funding, $195 million, to refurbish the warhead that will go on the new Air Force long range standoff (LRSO) cruise missile.
- Nuclear Force Structure – Includes language Hoeven authored that directs the Department of Defense (DoD) to maintain U.S. nuclear forces at the levels agreed to in the New START Treaty, rather than reduce them, as the administration has proposed.
- Minuteman III Replacement – $75 million for the next generation intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which will replace the current Minuteman III.
- B-52 Modernization – $225.4 million to modernize the B-52, including programs to improve its communications equipment and upgrade the internal bomb bay.
- Tax Relief – The measure provides more than $680 billion in tax relief, including permanently extending the Section 179 limitation, the number one priority for farmers, ranchers and small businesses.
- Section 179 and Bonus Depreciation – Permanently extends Section 179 with the $500,000 limitation, a provision of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax code that allows farmers, ranchers and small businesses to expense the purchase of equipment. In addition, it extends the bonus depreciation allowance for five years.
- Prevents the Implementation of Obamacare Taxes – Includes regulatory relief from Obamacare’s costly and burdensome mandates, including a two-year delay of the tax on businesses that pay their employees’ health care plans, a two-year delay of the Medical Device Tax and a one-year delay of the Health Insurance Tax (HIT) paid by insurance companies. It also eliminates funding for the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).
- Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) – LIHTC is a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for private investments made for the construction or rehabilitation of affordable housing are distributed to states and developers compete for the credits. The N.D. Housing Finance Agency uses the credits with state programs to address North Dakota’s housing challenges.
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