Las Vegas, Nev. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) celebrated the passage of bipartisan legislation she cosponsored to preserve jobs and encourage infrastructure development as part of the final FY 2020 funding bill. Introduced by Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.), the Revitalizing Underdeveloped Rural Areas and Lands (RURAL) Act expands tax-exempt cooperative organizations’ access to government grants and assistance, including rural broadband grants and FEMA disaster relief.
“There are still hundreds of thousands of Nevadans without access to reliable broadband services, which causes them to miss out on educational and economic opportunities as well as the latest advances in telehealth. This bill supports the expansion of high-speed internet by ensuring co-ops can receive the grants and assistance they need to invest in rural broadband and disaster relief without facing tax penalties. I’m committed to finding innovative ways to bring high-speed internet, job creation and business development to communities across Nevada.”
The Revitalizing Underdeveloped Rural Areas and Lands (RURAL) Act provides certainty for co-ops looking to utilize government resources to provide critical services to their members, such as broader access to high-speed internet or repairs to the electrical grid. The bill will amend the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) to ensure tax-exempt cooperative organizations do not lose their tax-exempt status when they make use of certain government grants, contributions and assistance, including rural broadband grants and FEMA disaster relief.
Full text of the bill is available here.