The America Jobs Plan (AJP) invests $2.3 trillion in critical physical and social infrastructure. The Biden Administration has committed to passing a plan that leaves no community behind – from remote rural areas without broadband to communities of color split apart by previous infrastructure spending. The AJP envisions several promising new programs and initiatives for financing housing, invigorating our clean energy economy, and replacing our electric grid, among other ideas. Many of the goals and priorities in the plan align well existing federal initiatives – in particular, the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC).
The NMTC has a twenty-year track record of financing daycare centers, community colleges, business incubators, workforce training programs, utility upgrades, schools, healthcare facilities, and other public goods that strengthen communities and generate long-term economic growth. The NMTC leverages private sector resources, stretching each dollar of federal investment further than a traditional grant program. Since 2001, the program has delivered nearly $110 billion in resources to the most distressed communities in America.
Providing additional resources for social and physical infrastructure to low-income communities through the NMTC would help President Biden achieve his goal of passing an inclusive, equitable jobs plan. NMTC projects are financed by community development entities (CDEs) with deep ties to the communities and families they serve. The NMTC encourages a holistic approach to community development. Rather than just financing a single childcare facility or business incubator, NMTC projects often combine commercial goods and a variety of social services into one development. Projects are tailored to meet the needs and priorities of the local communities.
The following paper outlines many of the areas where the NMTC aligns with the AJP: childcare, capital access for domestic manufacturing, veterans services, workforce development, business incubation, schools, broadband, clean water, and transit-oriented development. We provide aggregate NMTC investment data (2001-2020 2Q) and case studies.
The NMTC has delivered nearly $5 billion to 420 childcare facilities and providers. These projects include small loans to home-based care providers, new stand-alone facilities, and multi-component social service hubs that provide a variety of services, including childcare.
The NMTC supports everything from both light industrial urban manufacturing and large, rural plants in post-industrial communities. Over the past 5 years, more than 20 percent of NMTC projects supported new manufacturing jobs. Projects range from emerging, clean-tech sectors to small, craft manufacturing.
NMTC projects are preparing the workforce of the future through innovative training and workforce development programs. The NMTC also supports expansions of community college and technical school programs, facilities for HBCUs and universities, and other adult education programs.
Not only do CDEs finance business incubators, makerspaces, shared kitchens, and creative space for entrepreneurs, but some CDEs run incubators.
The NMTC helps tribes and rural communities upgrade water systems. NMTC water reclamation projects often blend tourism, sustainable forestry, and job creation with infrastructure improvement. Many projects also upgrade the industrial wastewater treatment and recycling systems, ensuring that new manufacturing jobs bring both economic opportunity and a cleaner environment.
In addition to financing hundreds of FQHCs, supportive housing facilities, and other programs available to low-income veterans, more than two dozen NMTC projects directly target supportive services to veterans.
The NMTC has financed 9 rural broadband expansions totaling nearly a half a billion in some of the most remote, rural places in America.
The NMTC provides financing for a variety of K-12 schools serving low-income children and children with special needs. Schools include public schools, public charters, and specialty private schools catering to at-risk youth. NMTC school projects often incorporate healthcare, foot pantries, and other social services.