It takes a comprehensive approach – don’t work alone!
From Lancaster Farming.
A new, place-based approach to rural policy is needed, according to “Strengthening Rural Pennsylvania: An Integrated Approach to a Prosperous Commonwealth,” by the Brookings Institution in collaboration with Penn State, the Pennsylvania Economy League, and the Campaign to Renew Pennsylvania.
“We have never developed a coherent, integrated rural-policy framework at the local, state, and federal levels,” Alter said. “To enhance community and regional competitiveness, we must identify features that distinguish places from one another and harness these differences to foster sustained growth and development.”
Such a place-based policy is more holistic than traditional strategies, Alter said, as it focuses on the broad array of social, economic, and environmental attributes that can be mobilized to improve quality of life. “Place-based development emphasizes the need for municipalities to pool their resources and create a unique niche in the global economy,” he said.
Among the report’s conclusions:
• Rural policy must embrace complexity.
• Communities must leverage local assets to sustain economic development.
• Regions must foster leadership and local capacity.
Among the issues identified in all five communities were lack of intermunicipal coordination and cooperation, lack of jobs that pay a living wage, out-migration of young people, an aging population, and an inequitable local tax structure, particularly the real-property tax. “None of these issues can be addressed without adequate funding for local services, facilities, education, and workforce development,” said William Shuffstall, co-author of the report and senior extension educator in agricultural economics and rural sociology.
This report and companion studies by the Brookings Institution and the Pennsylvania Economy League are available on the Internet at http://www.renewpa.org.
Four states targeting rural microenterprise
In South Carolina, New Mexico, California and Oregon, rural microenterprise development programs are being developed to serve as a model for other microbusiness development services in the rural U.S. Read about the South Carolina project targeting rural women entrepreneurs.
Nebraska may try accelerated tax deductions
From KHAS TV.
Congressman Adrian Smith is proposing a “Rural Invest Act.” It would accelerate the depreciation of commercial property from 39 to 15 years in rural areas. He says allowing a greater deduction sooner will help attract new business to smaller towns.
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