On May 17, 2021, the Rural Jobs Act was reintroduced in the House and Senate by Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Mark Warner, D-Va., John Boozman, R-Ark., Ben Cardin, D-Md., Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., John Hoeven, R-N.D., Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., along with Representatives Terri Sewell, D-Ala. and Jason Smith, R-Mo.
The Rural Jobs Act would add $500 million in NMTC allocation in 2022 and 2023. Under the legislation, the new allocation would be targeted exclusively to Rural Jobs Zones, which are NMTC-eligible census tracts in rural communities eligible for the USDA B&I Program (non-urban, under 50,000 in population).
Of the $1 billion in new allocation, at least 25 percent would be prioritized to persistent poverty counties and high out-migration rural counties.
Persistent Poverty Counties
High Out-Migration Rural Counties
Persistent poverty counties are defined as any county with a poverty rate of 20 percent or more in the 1990 and 2000 census along with the most recent Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates from the American Community Survey.
Rural Jobs Zones Definition
The Rural Jobs Zones use the USDA’s B&I definition. The rural definition in the Rural Jobs Zones Act would not change the underlying rural definition in the NMTC statute, which would still require the CDFI Fund to target a proportional share of the $3.5 billion in authorized NMTC allocation to non-metropolitan counties.
High out-migration counties are any county which, during the 20-year period ending with the year in which the most recent census was conducted, has a net out-migration of inhabitants from the county of at least 10 percent of the population of the county at the beginning of such period.