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National Tax Policy Leaders Meet to Focus on New Markets Tax Credit

Push for Permanence, Expansion Key Objectives of Annual Gathering

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 16, 2021) — Tax policy trends and economic recovery for underserved urban and rural communities were the focus at the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Coalition annual NMTC Conference, held virtually yesterday. The event was attended by 300 industry professionals and policymakers and featured five members of Congress and CDFI Fund Director Jodi Harris as keynote speakers. Conference participants noted the need to pass legislation calling for the NMTC’s permanence as a key tax policy.

Keynote speakers included Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA); Senate Republican Policy Committee Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO); House Chief Deputy Whip Terri Sewell (D-AL); Senate Finance Committee members Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Mark Warner (D-VA); and CDFI Fund Director Jodie Harris. Panelists included congressional staff, NMTC board members and leadership, investors and economic development leaders, Treasury Department officials, and legal experts. Panels held discussions on the impact of the pandemic, the pending permanent extension of the Treasury Department program, changes to the Community Reinvestment Act and credit pricing, legislative hurdles, and the latest insights from the Treasury Department.

“The amount of good that the New Markets Tax Credit has done in our communities – especially during this incredibly challenging time – cannot be overstated,” said Congressman Neal. “The types of projects that the program supports are exactly what we in the congress say that this country needs to ‘Build Back Better.’”

Never in the twenty-year history of the NMTC has there been more support from policymakers. Over the last two years, Congress twice enacted legislation to significantly expand the Credit. In 2019, the NMTC was extended for one year (2020) with a 44 percent increase in allocation authority from $3.5 to $5 billion. December of the following year, Congress enacted a 5-year, $25 billion NMTC extension through 2025, the largest in the program’s history.

“Senator Cardin and I have been working on this together for a long time. We were able in the last year to get it extended for five years, and at a 5 billion dollar number,” said Senator Blunt, describing the five-year extension. “I think it’s proven its value,” he added. “Everything from the big new food bank in the Kansas City area to a health clinic at Warsaw near Truman Lake were built with the New Markets Tax Credit.” 

“Most important to me in Maryland, the New Markets Tax Credit has produced more than 34,000 jobs statewide and an investment of 3.6 billion dollars in capital across 93 individual projects,” said Senator Cardin. “Your work changes the lives of Marylanders and all Americans for the better in communities that need the most support.”

The recent expansions of the program were only possible because of the significant support for the NMTC in both parties, in addition to Congressman Neal and Senators Blunt and Cardin. In the 116th Congress, nearly 200 members of Congress, evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans – took action in support of the NMTC, either by cosponsoring legislation expanding the Credit or by signing a letter in support of NMTC permanence.

The arrival of the 117th Congress and the Biden administration has continued support for the NMTC program. The New Markets Tax Credit Extension Act of 2021 (HR 1321/S. 456) has amassed over 110 combined cosponsors from both parties. The Biden Administration’s Fiscal Year 2022 tax proposals additionally included a permanent extension of the NMTC.

“As the lead sponsor of the New Markets Tax Credit Extension Act, I have been fighting to expand this credit which is critically important for the economic development in underserved communities in my district,” said Representative Sewell. “By incentivizing private investment to spur economic growth, the New Market Tax Credit is one of the most powerful tools in our toolkit to revitalize urban and rural communities that need so much help across the country.”

“I think that we all know that development in smaller communities in America continues to be a challenge,” said Senator Warner. “Hopefully that challenge is going to get a little easier now that we have finally provided the appropriate amount of broadband resources so that every rural community in America will have access to highspeed internet broadband, but we ought to combine that connectivity with the ability to utilize the very successful New Markets Tax Credit program.”

Permanent extension of the New Markets Tax Credit is currently pending adoption within the Congressional Build Back Better legislation with all eyes on the Senate.

“With more than two decades of bipartisan successes under our belt, we’re continuing our push to increase funds and to make the NMTC permanent,” said Bob Rapoza, NMTC Coalition spokesperson. “At a time when the economic frailty of our underserved communities has never been more apparent, we see a tremendous opportunity for our coalition to help create jobs, spread opportunity, and put America back on a solid financial footing, and we implore Congress to make it happen.”

About New Markets Tax Credit Program

The New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) was enacted in 2000 in an effort to stimulate private investment and economic growth in low-income urban neighborhoods and rural communities that lack access to the patient capital needed to support and grow businesses, create jobs, and sustain healthy local economies. Since its inception, the NMTC has generated more than one million jobs. Today due to NMTC, more than $115 billion is hard at work in underserved communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. For more information, visit www.NMTCCoalition.org.

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