Over 1,600 Call on Congress to Make New Markets Permanent as Tax Reform Heats Up

Businesses, investors and organizations sign letter urging Congress to extend the expired community and economic development tax credit before they leave Washington

Washington, D.C. – Building on two solidly bipartisan bills in the House and Senate, a letter signed by over 1,600 businesses, investors, and nonprofit and for-profit organizations calls on the Congress to take immediate action to extend the currently expired New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC).  Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Congressmen Pat Tiberi (R-OH), Richard Neal (D-MA) and Tom Reed (R-NY) have introduced the New Markets Tax Credit Extension Act of 2015, S. 591 and H.R. 855, respectively, which make the NMTC permanent law. The Obama Administration also called for permanency in the President’s 2016 Budget.   The pending legislation as well as the 2016 budget all propose a substantial increase in NMTC.

“The idea behind the New Markets Tax Credits is that there are good business opportunities in low-income communities, but the cost and availability of capital in these ‘new markets’ is an impediment to economic growth,” said Bob Rapoza, spokesperson for the NMTC Coalition. “Since its implementation, the NMTC has leveraged an unprecedented level of investment to low-income communities—generating more than $60 billion in total capital investment through public-private partnerships.”

The letter notes that the NMTC has financed commercial and industrial facilities, daycare and health centers, schools and small businesses. Further adding to its impact, these investments generated nearly 750,000 jobs in both rural and urban communities. U.S. Department of the Treasury data also indicates 75 percent of NMTC activity is in severely distressed communities with unemployment rates at least 1.5 times the national average or with poverty rates of at least 30 percent.

The NMTC began as a bipartisan collaboration between Democratic President Bill Clinton and Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert  (R-IL)t to attract private capital investment in low-income communities, and continues to garner support from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

“The resounding support for the NMTC, from the House to the Senate and the White House, provides hope that lawmakers can find common ground that benefits the communities and people they represent, and the NMTC has a proven track record of doing just that,” said José Villalobos, President of the NMTC Coalition and Senior Vice President of TELACU.

For examples of how the NMTC is making an impact in each state, see the NMTC Coalition’s Project Profile Map.