New Markets Tax Credits News Briefs - November 2015

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund revealed its new website Sept. 16. The CDFI Fund says the new site was designed to better serve site visitors as well as applicants and allocatees. After receiving user feedback, the CDFI Fund placed greater emphasis on the story of community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and community development entities (CDEs) and how they are revitalizing our nation’s low-income communities. Another new feature is the CDFI Fund’s Impact Blog, which will showcase success stories from CDFIs and CDEs across the country. In addition, the CDFI Fund announced Sept. 28 the launch of the new Awards Management Information System (AMIS), which replaces the myCDFIFund system, and will allow submission of online certification and program applications. The new website maintains the same URL: www.cdfifund.gov.

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The U.S. Census Bureau released the report, “Income and Poverty in the United States: 2014,” on Sept. 16. The report provides information on income and poverty found in the United States. The data shows no significant change in the official poverty rate or real median household income between 2013 and 2014. Median household income was $53,657 in 2014, not statistically different from the 2013 median of $54,462. In 2014, 46.7 million people in the United States were living at or below the poverty level, reflecting a poverty rate of 14.8 percent, the same as in 2013. For the fourth consecutive year, the number of people in poverty at the national level was not statistically different from the previous year’s estimates. Data used by the Census Bureau in the report are from the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplements. The report is available at www.census.gov.

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On Sept. 29, the CDFI Fund announced $327 million in bond funding for low-income community developments. The funding came in the form of nine bond loans through the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program. All of the bond proceeds will provide long-term, fixed rate capital for developments in low-income and underserved communities. The program has now provided $852 million in bond guarantees since it was enacted as part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010.

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The CDFI Fund selected the National Community Investment Fund (NCIF) on Oct. 6 as the contractor to provide group training and individual technical assistance to certified CDEs that meet the CDFI Fund’s definition of a minority CDE. The training will inform minority CDEs on how they can participate in the NMTC program. The training workshops will target certified CDEs that are minority-controlled nonprofit entities, minority-owned for-profit entities or minority depository institutions (MDIs). Training participants will be able to discuss various topics with experienced practitioners. In addition, CDEs that have completed the training curriculum will have the opportunity to receive customized technical assistance based upon their operational priorities. NCIF invests capital in institutions that increase access to responsible financial products and services in underserved communities. More information is available at www.cdfifund.gov.

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On Aug. 20, the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) board of directors approved an amendment to the Maine New Markets Capital Investment program. The board adopted an amendment to the emergency rule concerning the new markets capital investment credit available to taxpayers holding a qualified equity investment in economically distressed areas of Maine. The rule prohibits one-day loans, effective immediately. Also adopted was a definition for a qualified low-income community investment, adding that a qualified investment does not include a transaction where more than a de minimis amount (5 percent) is used to refinance expenses already made, to make equity distributions, to acquire existing businesses or to pay transaction fees.

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