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Senate Approves 2014 Tax Extenders Bill

WASHINGTON – Dec. 17, 2014

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The U.S. Senate on Tuesday night passed “The Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014” (H.R. 5771), a tax incentives bill that retroactively extends for one year–through the end of 2014–most temporary tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013. The bill was passed with a vote of 76-16 and will become law when signed by President Barack Obama. The House passed the legislation 378-46 on Dec. 3.

The bill includes several provisions of interest to the tax credit community, including an extension of the 9 percent floor for low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) allocations made for non-federally subsidized buildings before Jan. 1, 2015; an extension through the end of 2014 for the new markets tax credit (NMTC); and an extension of the production tax credit (PTC) for wind and certain other renewable energy sources for facilities that begin construction before the end of 2014. The legislation also includes an extension of 50 percent bonus depreciation to property acquired and placed in service during 2014 (and 2015 for certain properties with a longer production period).

Tune into the Dec. 23 episode of the Tax Credit Tuesday podcast for more information.

Camp Introduces Tax Reform Legislation; Senate Finance Committee GOP Staff Releases Tax Reform Report

WASHINGTON – Dec. 11, 2014

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Today House Ways and Means Committee chairman Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., officially introduced H.R. 1, the Tax Reform Act of 2014. Camp’s legislation proposes formalizing the tax reform discussion draft released last February. It retains the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC), doesn’t mention the new markets tax credit (NMTC) and proposes the repeal of the historic tax credit (HTC) and renewable energy tax credits (RETCs). Camp called for the legislation to “spur further action” during the 114th Congress, which begins in January.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee Republican staff today released a report titled “Comprehensive Tax Reform for 2015 and Beyond,” outlining issues that policymakers will face if they attempt comprehensive tax reform in the upcoming Congress. While LIHTCs, NMTCs, HTCs and RETCs are not specifically mentioned, the report calls for “permanence and certainty,” and indicates that some tax credits should be enhanced and made permanent.  

Tune into the Dec. 16 episode of the Tax Credit Tuesday podcast to learn more.

NMTC Coalition Releases Industry Impact Report

WASHINGTON – Dec. 10, 2014

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The New Markets Tax Credit Coalition today released “A Decade of the New Markets Tax Credit: An Economic Impact Analysis,” a report on the economic impact of the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program from 2003 to 2012. Among other things, the report gives a brief history of the NMTC, identifies how many jobs were created as a result of the program, analyzes investment trends within the industry and discusses the direct and indirect economic effects of the program. From 2003 to 2012, NMTC investments generated nearly $118 billion in economic activity, creating more than 744,000 jobs in low-income rural and urban communities, according to the report. The report also found that the federal revenue generated by NMTC investments more than pays for the cost of the program.

Tune in to the Dec. 16 Tax Credit Tuesday podcast to hear more about the report.

Treasury Announces New CDFI Fund Director

WASHINGTON – Nov. 25, 2014

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The U.S. Treasury Department today announced that Annie Donovan will be the new director of the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, effective Dec. 1. Donovan joins the CDFI Fund from CoopMetrics, where she served as chief executive officer, providing business intelligence tools to small businesses and nonprofits. Before that, she worked with the Office of Social Innovation and Council on Environmental Quality as a senior policy adviser to the White House. Donovan was also the chief operating officer of Capital Impact Partners (formerly NCB Capital Impact) and president of the New Markets Tax Credit Coalition.

Donovan succeeds Donna Gambrell, who served as the CDFI Fund’s director from November 2007 to December 2013. Dennis Nolan has been serving as the acting director of the CDFI Fund in the interim.

Stakeholders Urge Congress to Extend Tax Credits

WASHINGTON – Nov. 18, 2014

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Hundreds of tax credit advocates have recently sent sign-on letters to Congress, urging lawmakers to extend expired or expiring tax credits during the lame-duck session. More than 1,500 organizations, including businesses, nonprofits and investors, signed a letter from the New Markets Tax Credit Coalition, urging Congress to extend the new markets tax credit (NMTC). The coalition letter argued that the economic activity spurred by NMTC investments has generated enough tax revenue to cover the cost of the program.

Affordable Rental Housing ACTION (A Call to Invest in Our Neighborhoods) sent its own letter to Congress, urging an extension of the 9 percent low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) minimum rate for new construction and substantial rehabilitation and the 4 percent LIHTC minimum for acquisition of affordable housing. The letter called for the floor rates to be made permanent, but said an extension for at least two years would strengthen the credit at virtually no cost to taxpayers. It featured signatures from a coalition of more than 900 national, state and local stakeholders.

In sign-on letters addressed to the House of Representatives and the Senate, more than 500 organizations asked Congress to extend seamlessly, enhance or make permanent the expired and expiring tax provisions. That letter said that failure to extend the provisions would effectively act as a tax increase and would inject instability and uncertainty into the economy.

Tune into the Nov. 25 episode of the Tax Credit Tuesday podcast to learn more.

CDEs REQUEST $19.9 BILLION IN 2014 NMTC ROUND

WASHINGTON – Oct. 7, 2014

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The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund today announced that it received 263 applications from community development entities (CDEs) requesting a combined $19.9 billion in allocation authority under the 2014 round of the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program. The 2014 notice of allocation authority makes up to $5 billion in tax credit allocation authority available for the current round, pending Congressional authorization. The 2014 round applicants are headquartered in 44 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico.

Through the first 11 rounds of the NMTC program, the CDFI Fund has made 836 awards totaling $40 billion in tax credit allocation authority. This includes $3 billion in Recovery Act awards and $1 billion for Gulf Opportunity Zones.

To prepare for the next NMTC allocation round, join us at the Novogradac New Markets Tax Credit Conference on Oct. 23-24 in New Orleans.

Treasury Guarantees Additional $200 Million through CDFI Bond Guarantee Program

WASHINGTON – Oct. 3, 2014

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The Treasury Department yesterday announced that it has guaranteed an additional $200 million through the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Bond Guarantee program. Under the program, CDFIs will issue federally backed bonds and use the proceeds to provide long-term, fixed-rate capital for projects in low-income communities. Treasury announced in August that it had guaranteed $325 million through the CDFI Bond Guarantee program; yesterday’s announcement brings the total amount guaranteed to $525 million.

Four eligible CDFIs received bond loans from the Community Reinvestment Fund, as qualified issuers: Capital Impact Partners, IFF, Low Income Investment Fund and The Reinvestment Fund. Tune in to the Oct. 14 Tax Credit Tuesday podcast to learn more about the program and yesterday’s announcement.

California Governor Vetoes State NMTC

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sept. 30, 2014

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California Gov. Jerry Brown yesterday vetoed A.B. 1399, a bill to create a state new markets tax credit (NMTC). In his veto message, Brown said that he endorses programs that encourage private investments in low-income areas, but that the bill’s $200 million cost should be weighed against other priorities during the state budget process. Tune in to today’s Tax Credit Tuesday podcast to learn more.

Comment Invited on CRA Questions and Answers

WASHINGTON – Sept. 8, 2014

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The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency today invited public comment regarding proposed revisions to the Interagency Questions and Answers Regarding Community Reinvestment. The document provides additional guidance to financial institutions and the public on the agencies’ regulations that implement the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Among other things, the proposed new and revised CRA questions and answers address community development-related issues by clarifying guidance on economic development; providing examples of community development loans and activities that are considered to revitalize or stabilize an underserved nonmetropolitan middle-income geography; and clarifying how community development services are evaluated.  

CDFI Fund Updates NMTC Application Guidance

WASHINGTON – Aug. 29, 2014

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The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund today provided supplemental guidance for calendar year (CY) 2014 New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program applicants in an updated CY 2014 NMTC Program - Application Questions & Answers document. The supplemental guidance is the result of specific questions that the CDFI Fund received during the two application round conference calls hosted Aug. 12 and 14. The revised guidance addresses topics including financing operating businesses, acceptable baselines of activities, innovative activities and Promise Zones, among others.
 
Tune in to the Sept. 2 Tax Credit Tuesday podcast to hear more about the updated guidance. The CDFI Fund will accept questions concerning the 2014 application until 5 p.m. EDT on Sept. 29.

CDFI Fund Releases Electronic NMTC Application

WASHINGTON – Aug. 20, 2014

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The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund today released the electronic application for the 2014 round of the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program. Applications for the 2014 round are due Oct. 1 and will only be accepted electronically through the myCDFI Fund system. The CDFI Fund takes questions about the application until 5 p.m. EDT on Sept. 29.

To learn more about the NMTC application, register for the Novogradac 2014 NMTC Application Webinar on Aug. 21.  

Treasury Guarantees $325 Million through CDFI Bond Guarantee Program

WASHINGTON – Aug. 20, 2014

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The U.S. Treasury today announced that it has guaranteed $325 million through the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Bond Guarantee program. Under the program, CDFIs will issue federally backed bonds and use the proceeds to extend credit to the CDFI industry for economic development projects in low-income communities. As much as $750 million in bond guarantee authority is available to eligible CDFIs in fiscal year 2014.

Eligible CDFIs and qualified issuers in the inaugural round of the program are Clearinghouse CDFI, Community Development Trust LP, Local Initiatives Support Corporation and Enterprise Community Loan Fund Inc. Treasury said it would announce additional borrowers selected to participate in the program in coming weeks. Unless the CDFI Bond Guarantee program is reauthorized by Congress, it will sunset Sept. 30, 2014.

Tune into the Aug. 26 Tax Credit Tuesday podcast to learn more.

CDFI Fund Calls for 2014 NMTC Allocation Application Reviewers

WASHINGTON – Aug. 15, 2014

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The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund has issued a request for community and economic development practitioners to serve as application reviewers and alternates for the 2014 round of the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program. Reviewers will provide first-stage evaluations of the applications. The CDFI Fund requires reviewers and alternates to have considerable expertise in community and economic development finance and prefers applicants to have specialized knowledge in commercial finance.

Tune in to the Aug. 26 Tax Credit Tuesday podcast to learn more about reviewer requirements and responsibilities.

CDFI Fund to Hold Mapping System Webinar for NMTC Community

WASHINGTON – Aug. 14, 2014

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The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund will hold a webinar on the CDFI Information Mapping System (CIMS3) for New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program participants on Aug. 19 at 3 p.m. EDT. CIMS3 is a web-based tool that allows organizations interested in applying for certification as a CDFI or community development entity, or for funding through one of the CDFI Fund’s award programs, to plot their eligible service areas and investments. The webinar is meant to help users navigate the system’s features.  

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