New Markets Tax Credit News Briefs - February 2017

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

On Dec. 13, 2016, the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund opened the application period for its fiscal year 2017 CDFI Bond Guarantee program. The program allows selected CDFIs or their designees to issue bonds guaranteed by the federal government in order to extend capital for financing and for long-term community investments. A notice of guarantee authority (NOGA) was published in the Federal Register, making up to $750 million in bond guarantee authority available upon Congressional authorization. Bond issues have a minimum size of $100 million and application material is available through the CDFI Fund’s website.

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The CDFI Fund published Jan. 5 a Federal Register notice inviting input on its draft calendar year (CY) 2018 new markets tax credit (NMTC) allocation application. Comments will not be implemented in the CY 2017 application round. The application under review is part of the award selection process for the allocation of tax credit authority to community development entities (CDEs). Comments are due March 10. The Federal Register notice and the allocation application are available at www.newmarketscredits.com.

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The CDFI Fund opened the waitlist Jan. 8 for minority-owned or -controlled CDEs to participate in a training initiative with the National Community Investment Fund (NCIF). The purpose of the initiative is to ensure full understanding of how minority CDEs can participate in the NMTC program, as well as to address challenges and needs that minority CDEs face with such participation. There will be up to four workshops for group training and up to 25 one-on-one technical assistance trainings.

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Greg Bishack, program manager for the CDFI Fund, announced that the CDFI Fund will update its NMTC census eligibility data in the next year. This announcement was made at the New Markets Tax Credit Coalition  annual conference Dec. 14-15, 2016. The update will revise census tract eligibility using information from the latest five-year American Community Survey by the Census Bureau, and is expected to out by August. This latest survey includes data from 2011 through 2015.

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Capital One announced Dec. 15, 2016, that it led an $8 million financing package for the continued construction and renovation of the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas STEM Center of Excellence at Camp Whispering Cedars in Dallas. Capital One contributed $2 million of federal NMTC equity and a bridge loan of $3.5 million. Additional financing was provided by the Dallas Development Fund, which served as a partner in the deal and contributed $6 million of federal NMTC equity. The center allows girls to explore science, technology, engineering and math programs, activities and careers in an outdoor leadership environment. Construction on the first phase began in July 2015, with the first two buildings complete in April 2016. Phase II of the development will include facilities such as an Energy in Motion Zone, Exploration Center and Geology Trail, as well as additional buildings and amenities. Construction of the entire facility is expected to be completed in early spring 2018.

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