Research / Industry & Commerce


SLC Regional Resource | April 2020

Missed Connections: State Funding Mechanisms for Broadband Expansion

Anne Roberts Brody

High-speed internet access, commonly referred to as “broadband,” is provided by a series of technologies — cable, telephone wire, fiber, satellite, mobile and fixed wireless — that allow users to send and receive data at speeds necessary to support a wide range of applications for voice communications, entertainment, telemedicine, distance education, telework, e-commerce, civic engagement, public safety and energy conservation, to name a few. Access to reliable, high-speed internet is vital to almost every aspect of the nation’s economy, and communities with broadband access enjoy a wide array of benefits. Often compared to the electrification of rural America, the increasing efforts to expand broadband access in rural areas have gained momentum across the South.

While the rate of broadband adoption continues to grow, largely in urban and suburban areas, numerous studies and surveys indicate that broadband deployment in rural areas continues to lag. Rural areas also tend to have fewer broadband providers, leading to limited options and competition for customers, as well as slower connection speeds. Meanwhile, nearly one quarter of rural adults say that access to high-speed internet is a major problem in their local community.

State laws and policies can facilitate and encourage broadband expansion in underserved rural areas. Building upon the 2016 SLC Regional Resource, The Role of State and Local Government in Broadband Deployment, this SLC Regional Resource explores funding mechanisms implemented by Southern states to encourage broadband expansion in rural, unserved and underserved areas.


Other | December 2019

Issues to Watch - 2020

Anne Roberts Brody, Cody Allen and Roger Moore

As the 2020 legislative cycle approaches, legislators across the South are preparing and pre-filing legislation to address emerging and relevant policy issues in their states. With its regional focus, the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) is uniquely positioned to identify and research current and emerging policy issues and trends. This report was prepared by Anne Roberts Brody, policy and program manager, and Roger Moore and Cody Allen, policy analysts, and provides a sampling of issues and trends that are anticipated to emerge during the 2020 legislative term. State actions referenced in this report may represent appropriate policy options for Southern lawmakers to consider and, as such, may include bills or policies originating outside the SLC region.

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Policy Analysis | December 2019

Motor Fuel Evaporation Deductions

Roger Moore

During the handling, transportation and storage of motor fuel, evaporation loss commonly occurs. Movement from production operations to refineries, followed by fuel terminals and, lastly, service stations and local storage plants, often results in a loss of fuel caused by changes in temperature and modes of transportation.1 As a result, the amount of motor fuel delivered for consumption often is less than the original amount produced and refined.

Wholesalers are obligated to pay taxes on fuel based on the amount purchased at the time of receipt, before it is delivered and sold to retail outlets. Due to evaporation, the original taxable amount of fuel may be greater than the amount that ultimately is sold to retailers. Although wholesalers collect taxes from their buyers, they may not fully recoup the taxes they paid at the time of the original purchase.

To account for this discrepancy, many states have enacted deductions for dealers, suppliers and/or distributors of motor fuel. In the SLC region, eight of the 15 states currently have deductions to offset losses from fuel evaporation, ranging from 0.004 percent up to 3 percent of the original taxable amount. A review of state codes identified fuel evaporation deductions in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. Other states have fuel-related deductions, but these are not specifically associated with evaporation loss.

Codified Fuel Evaporation Deductions
Alabama

Evaporation Deduction: 0.004 percent

§40-17-341

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2019-2020
Chair

Representative
Manly Barton

Mississippi

2019-2020
Vice Chair

Representative
Nathaniel Ledbetter

Alabama

Immediate
Past Chair

Representative
Jeanie Lauer

Missouri

Committee
Liaison
Roger Moore

Roger Moore
Policy Analyst


The SLC Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee examines issues related to infrastructure, economic progress and cultural strengths in the Southern region. Discussions and reports of the committee have focused on Southern state actions to bring manufacturing operations of national and foreign companies to the region, as well as the importance of ports, roads and railways for the movement of manufactured goods. The committee has a long history of studying the impact of the Panama Canal expansion and international trade with Mexico, Canada and China on Southern state economies.

More SLC Research into Industry & Commerce


SLC Regional Resource | March 2019

Sports Betting in the South

Other | January 2019

Issues to Watch - 2019

SLC Special Series Report | October 2018

Blown Away: Wind Energy in the Southern States (Part III)

Policy Analysis | April 2018

SLC - China Trade Data

SLC Issue Brief | January 2018

The State of Retail in Southern States

SLC Regional Resource | December 2016

The Case for Cuba

Policy Analysis | September 2016

Agricultural Exports to Cuba

Policy Analysis | January 2016

Vehicle Sales Soar to Record Levels in 2015

SLC Regional Resource | January 2016

Inland Ports and Waterways in the SLC Member States

Policy Analysis | September 2015

Manufacturing Products Top SLC State Exports in 2014

SLC Issue Alert | June 2014

U.S. Agriculture Exports: Latest Trends

SLC Regional Resource | February 2014

Aeronautics in the SLC States: Cleared for Takeoff

Policy Analysis | January 2014

Growth of Aerospace Industry Exports

SLC Regional Resource | November 2013

Tire Manufacturing: Southern States Roll to the Top

SLC Regional Resource | July 2013

Workforce Development in the SLC States

Policy Analysis | June 2011

Manufacturing Jobs in the South

SLC Special Series Report | June 2010

The Expansion of the Panama Canal and SLC State Ports

Article | July 2008

Auto: The Resilient South

Presentation | April 2004

Ports in the South

SLC Special Series Report | November 2003

The Drive to Move South

SLC Regional Resource | February 2003

Update on Competition in the Telecommunications Industry

Presentation | September 2002

Delivering the Goods: Ports in the South

SLC Regional Resource | June 2002

A Review of Southern States' No-Call Registries

SLC Regional Resource | February 2001

Telecommunications Competition in Southern States

SLC Regional Resource | August 2000

International Trade and Agriculture