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New Markets Tax Credits News Briefs - August 2014

On June 12, the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund announced that it approved Stonehenge Community Development LLC as a qualified issuer for the CDFI Bond Guarantee program. If the U.S. Department of the Treasury approves Stonehenge’s application, then the company would be approved to issue bonds and make bond loans to eligible CDFI. Stonehenge joins the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, the Community Reinvestment Fund, the Opportunity Finance Network and Bank of America CDFI Funding Corporation as a qualified issuer. The program was guaranteed up to $750 million in bonds by the secretary of the Treasury for fiscal year 2014.

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On June 20, Reps. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, and Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., along with 50 other representatives, sent a bipartisan letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., and ranking member Sander Levin, D-Mich. In the letter, the representatives urged the committee to extend the NMTC program. The letter states the representatives’ support of legislative action to extend the NMTC program, which expired at the end of 2013. The letter adds that without an extension, communities will lose a tool that has created jobs, revitalized neighborhoods and helped to jump-start local economies. The letter is available at www.newmarketscredits.com.

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Our House Inc.’s Children’s Center in Little Rock, Ark. opened June 7 with the help of $5 million in new markets tax credits (NMTCs). Our House is a nonprofit that aids homeless adults and children with job training and education, respectively. Brownfields Revitalization LLC, a community development entity, provided the NMTCs. Georgia Mjartan, Our House’s executive director, told Arkansas Business that in addition to the standard qualifications, Brownfields was looking for a development that had a minority-controlled board and a site where environmental remediation had taken place. Our House also received $1 million in cash from the sale of the credits from the sale of the credits with JPMorgan Chase & Company, supplying funding for construction and furnishings. The 19,000-square-foot youth development center serves about 150 homeless and near-homeless children up to age 17.

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On June 17, President Obama visited TechShop Pittsburgh in Bakery Square, Pittsburgh, Pa. Techshop is a community-based workshop and prototyping studio that provides 16,000 square feet of workshop space, and is one of eight workshops nationwide that provides affordable access to manufacturing tools, computers and software. The Commonwealth Cornerstone Group, a CDE, provided $13 million in NMTCs for the development of Bakery Square, a mixed-use development built from the former Nabisco bakery building. Bakery Square has 250,000 square feet of renovated space for 17 businesses, a 110-room hotel and a parking garage. President Obama advocated for a permanent extension of the NMTC program in his administration’s fiscal year 2015 budget proposal after observing that communities are increasing efforts to support entrepreneurship in manufacturing.

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On June 12, law firm Pepper Hamilton LLP, announced that Michael A. Lee joined the firm as special counsel in the affordable housing and community development group. Lee will be located in the Washington, D.C. office. Lee’s emphasis is on the NMTC program and other federal tax incentives for economic development in low-income communities. Prior to joining Pepper Hamilton, Lee was a partner at the law firm Arnold & Porter LLP. He was previously a law clerk to Cecil F. Poole, U.S. District Judge for the northern district of California and judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Lee received a master’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Journal Category:

New Markets Tax Credit

Authors:

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