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On November 2, the House Ways and Means Committee released its long-awaited tax reform plan, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The proposed plan aims to streamline the U.S. tax code and create some tax relief for middle- and low-income Americans by reducing the number of tax brackets, reducing marginal tax rates, and expanding family tax credits. Unfortunately, these come at the cost of eliminating key deductions and tax credits for cities as well as middle-class Americans. These elements of the existing tax code help finance local infrastructure and build strong, vibrant and economically sound communities.

As Congress continues to negotiate details of proposed changes to the federal tax code, learn how it could preempt your local decision making on taxes, impact your city’s ability to finance necessary infrastructure improvements, and how you can advocate for cities during the tax reform debate.

Learn more:

  • about the current tax reform legislation introduced by Congress.
  • how the legislation will impact cities and Americans.
  • what local leaders can advocate for cities during the tax reform debate.

The visitor economy has been proven to be a catalyst for more traditional forms of economic development and it starts with understanding your destination’s brand. For the past nine years, the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA) has been promoting the Charlotte region as a visitor destination, through the ‘Charlotte’s got a lot’ brand. Advertising efforts not only raise the destination profile and positively change perceptions of Charlotte, but those dollars directly generate new  visits and visitor spending. At the same time, the city and its economic development partners have leveraged different brands to promote the Charlotte region. By collectively understanding and delivering on the community’s brand promise, the region stands stronger, more unified and faces its competitive challenges in a more cohesive and strategic fashion. Mike Butts and Gina Sheridan will walk you through the 18-month journey of evolving the work of the CRVA’s results-driven destination marketing into the creation of a collaborative place brand, giving you tips and strategies you can use at home.

Approximately 46 million people in the United States are now age 65 and older. That number will grow over the next 15 years to 73 million — or one out of every five people nationwide. Regardless of age, we all want the same things: safe, affordable housing, good infrastructure; a healthy environment and opportunities for advancement.

In this session, AARP and city leaders will ignite a conversation about creative, inspiring ideas for making communities more livable for people of all ages. Great communities take time to build and sustain, but “quick actions” can be the critical spark for longer-term change. Hear from 2017 grantees of the AARP Community Challenge who are building momentum for livable community’s progress. By shining a spotlight on these solutions— and digging deeper into how ideas are being turned into action—this session will provide inspiration and information that makes it a little easier to trigger change.

*Presented by AARP

Your opportunity to build an online community through Facebook has never been stronger. Come learn about some of the latest tools, tips, and best practices that can help you better reach and connect with constituents on Facebook.

*Presented by Facebook

Public sector organizations compete with private companies for high-performing employees. While providing richer and more personalized benefits can help attract employees, the escalating cost of employee health care benefits has become unmanageable—forcing employers to be more creative and responsive in the design, timing and generosity of their benefit plans. Hear professionals from Colonial Life share innovative and effective strategies you can use to meet the goals of containing costs and managing the quality of employee health care benefits while recruiting the high-performing employees you need.

*Presented by Colonial Life

NOTE: Coffee provided

In response to the opioid epidemic, NLC released the Opioid Epidemic Task Force Report –an action plan to disrupt this destructive nationwide trend. A key finding from the report was to reach children early, both in school and at home. Aligning with report findings, Discovery Education and the Drug Enforcement Administration established Operation Prevention – a standards-aligned initiative aimed at educating children and youth about the true impacts of prescription opioid and heroin abuse.
Learn how the first and only classroom-based opioid prevention program can help alleviate and ultimately eradicate the issue in your community. Hear from senior officials with the city, federal government agencies, and school district administrators as they discuss the impact on cities across the country and best practices.

* Presented by Discovery Education

Note: Breakfast provided

In the face of tighter budgets and increased demand for services, many cities have moved in recent years to increase fees for service. The fastest growing source of municipal revenue, fees have great potential to help city budgets but also raise equity concerns. During this session, hear about the current trends in municipal revenues, including the most popular and innovative fee types, and understand why cities are increasing service fees. You’ll learn common criticisms of fees for service and how to ensure fees are both efficient and equitable. This interactive session will help you consider the impact of fees in your own city, no matter the size.

Relevant NLC University Seminar
Budgeting 101 | Wednesday, November 15

The presence of vacant and abandoned properties can prohibit city officials from building communities of opportunity. But this does not have to be the case. Local leaders across the country continue to use best practices, as well as innovative solutions, to transform properties into assets that can drive revitalization. Join this session to learn tested best practices and current innovations that attendees can bring home to create change.

High-speed internet service is vital to the success of cities. It can spark innovation and economic development, improve education, and increase civic engagement. Constituents of all political affiliations want choice and competition, privacy protections, and a free and open internet. Join this session to learn how cities across the country, elected officials and advocacy organizations are working to advance this policy agenda.