News & Press: Member Update

ACEC Texas Member Update - August 14, 2020

Friday, August 14, 2020  
Posted by: Michael Hancock
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MEMBER UPDATE

August 14, 2020














ACEC Texas Board Wraps Up Strategic Planning

The ACEC Texas Board of Directors held a strategic planning meeting last week to discuss and finalize the new strategic plan for the association. After receiving input from the membership survey, conducting phone interviews, and work sessions, the Board held a two-day workshop to review all feedback and examine the next steps forward collectively as an association. The goal of developing a new strategic plan is to help ACEC Texas design and improve our programs, services, and priorities. Thank you to everyone who participated in the workshop last week and to Tecker International who led our strategic planning process. A draft outline of our new plan will be developed in the coming weeks for final approval and then distributed to ACEC Texas members.

 

News from the Public Policy Council
SAVE THE DATE: Chairman DeFazio Event for ACEC Texas Members

The ACEC Texas Public Policy Council (PPC) continues to host legislative briefings with state and federal elected officials. In addition to regularly scheduled regional PPC events with legislators, the PPC Steering Committee will be virtually hosting Speaker Pro Tempore Joe Moody (D-El Paso) for a briefing on Wednesday, August 19th; and Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar on Tuesday, September 29th. The Steering Committee will host a virtual meeting on September 24th to discuss legislative priorities leading up to the 2021 Legislative Session and review competitive races expected in the 2020 General Election. As we approach election season and prepare for the next legislative session, the Steering Committee will be busy connecting with legislators and finalizing our legislative agenda. The PPC Subcommittee on Transportation Funding has been working these past few months to gather data and prepare presentation materials for our elected officials on the importance of transportation infrastructure funding, given what will be a challenging budget cycle for the state. If you and your firm would like to be a part of these discussions and the legislative briefings, please contact Scott Stewart, Vice President for Legislative Affairs, at (512) 497-8847 or Scott@ACECTX.org.

SAVE THE DATE:
We are excited to announce that we have scheduled a virtual event with U.S. Congressman Peter DeFazio (Oregon – 4th) on October 5th at 4:00 PM (Central Time). Congressman DeFazio serves as Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. This event will be in partnership with ACEC National (ACEC PAC) and all ACEC Texas members are invited to participate. A “Save the Date” was sent out on Monday and please be on the lookout for an official email invitation with registration and contribution information in coming days.

 

Texas Comptroller Releases Positive July Sales Tax Numbers;
Distributes $909 Million to Local Governments

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced earlier this month that state sales tax revenue totaled $2.98 billion in July, 4.3% more than in July 2019. The majority of July sales tax revenue is based on sales made in June and remitted to the agency in July. Sales tax is the largest source of funding for the state budget, accounting for 57% of all tax collections.

“State sales tax collections in July were better than expected, increasing despite the high unemployment due to the pandemic,” Hegar said. “The increase was due to a surge in collections from the retail trade sector; receipts from other major sectors — including mining, construction, wholesale trade, services and restaurants — showed significant declines.


Texas collected the following revenue from other major taxes:

  • motor vehicle sales and rental taxes — $466 million, down 3.7 percent from July 2019;

  • motor fuel taxes $304 million, down 2.2 percent from July 2019;

  • oil production tax $187 million, down 40 percent from July 2019;

  • natural gas production tax $37 million, down 71 percent from July 2019;

  • hotel occupancy tax $34 million, down 42 percent from July 2019; and

  • alcoholic beverage taxes — $110 million, down 6.2 percent from July 2019.These collections were inflated by a delay in liquor tax remittances, resulting in the July receipt of four months’ worth of remittances in liquor taxes due to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Mixed beverage gross receipts and sales taxes, which typically make up the bulk of monthly alcoholic beverage tax collections, were down 41 percent compared to July 2019.


Comptrolle
r Hegar also announced this week that he will send cities, counties, transit systems, and special purpose taxing districts $908.7 million in local sales tax allocations for August. This is a 3.6% increase than in August 2019. These allocations are based on sales made in June by businesses that report tax monthly and on sales made in April, May and June by quarterly filers.









Texas Comptroller Local Sales Tax Allocations (Aug. 2020)









New PPP Frequently Asked Questions Document Now Available

SBA and Treasury released a new FAQ document on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness. The document provides answers to questions such as calculation of payroll and non-payroll expenses, and how to determine the amount of owner compensation that is eligible for loan forgiveness. To view the document, please click on the following link: PPP FAQ















AGENCY NEWS & UPDATES








Texas Water Development Board






FEMA Flood Grant Programs Opening for Applications Soon: FEMA has posted its “Notice of Funding Opportunity” for the upcoming Fiscal Year 2020 Flood Mitigation Assistance grant cycle. The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) administers the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant program, one of two FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant programs that will be opening for applications in late September. To be eligible for the FMA program, communities must participate in the National Flood Insurance program (NFIP). The FMA program provides up to 100% federal funding to mitigate flood-prone structures insured through the NFIP. For more information on eligible mitigation activities visit the TWDB FMA program page.

The NFIP policy for each structure that applies for FMA grant funding must be in effect by the opening of the grant cycle, September 30, 2020. After property owners apply for insurance, there is a 30-day waiting period before it becomes effective. Communities are strongly recommended to act now to encourage their residents to apply for NFIP insurance. FEMA will host a series of informational webinars on the applications, and attendees can preregister now. The TWDB will be sending more details on submittal schedules and the new FEMA grant management system, FEMA GO.






















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Calendar

10/6/2020
Central Texas Virtual Chapter Meeting-10/06/20

10/7/2020
ACEC Central Texas and San Antonio Transportation Series: Session 1