September 13, 2018

Proposed Guidance on the Opportunity Zone Incentive

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Community Developments

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  • Yesterday the Department of Treasury and the IRS submitted to the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for review a proposed rule that is expected to provide regulatory guidance on the Opportunity Zone incentive – a step required before publishing the rule for public comment. The proposed rule is expected to be published in the Federal Register later this month (once the mandated review period of at least 10 days is over and the rule is released by OIRA). (Novogradac & Company, September 13) Enterprise urges the Department of Treasury and IRS to create a transparent process for developing reporting requirements and regulations that enables robust public input.
  • Congressional lawmakers today announced plans for a Continuing Resolution (CR) through December 7 – if needed to avoid a government shutdown at the end of this month – for the remaining fiscal year (FY) 2019 appropriations bills, including the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) bill. The CR will be attached to the three-bill minibus that was passed by the Senate yesterday – the minibus does not include the THUD bill. The House is on recess next week, and therefore lawmakers are expected to vote on the CR in the last week of September to avoid a potential government shutdown. (PoliticoPro, September 13) 
  • Yesterday the Senate voted 64-33 to approve Chuck Rettig’s nomination as the IRS commissioner. Rettig is the first tax lawyer to head the IRS since the late 1990s, when a series of business management executives began leading the agency following a 1998 law that restructured IRS operations. (Politico, September 12) 
  • At a recent event hosted by the Urban Institute, experts discussed how access to broader financial data could build more accurate and inclusive credit files, potentially helping consumers who have sufficient income but lack previous experience with credit products access credit. The experts argued that using data from financial statements, such as bank accounts, could create a measure that is more predictive of applicants’ ability to repay a loan than a credit score based upon stale or thin data. They also pointed out that “this model could create significant privacy issues if lenders, credit reporting agencies, or data aggregators gain access to consumers’ bank accounts on an ongoing basis.” (Urban Institute, September 11) 
  • An article in The Washington Post notes that high-demand, relatively low-density jurisdictions along the West Coast have undertaken efforts to facilitate the creation of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) to expand their supply of affordable housing. The states of California and Oregon have mandated that most cities allow ADUs, leaving only limited power at the municipal level to legislate how the structures look and to whom they can be leased. The article explains that easing regulation seems to be having an effect, pointing out that in Portland, the number of city-issued ADU permits rose from 100 to 600 between 2010 and 2016. (The Washington Post, September 13) 

Upcoming Webinar 

  • On Friday, September 21, Enterprise Community Partners will host a webinar on “Creative Placemaking: Working Through Conflicting Priorities" to discuss how community development organizations are responding to immediate stressors while building long-term resilience. This webinar will be moderated by Mia Scharphie, founder of Creative Agency, and will feature Marilyn Wrenn, chief development officer at Coalfield Development, and Taykhoom Biviji, program officer at North Lawndale at School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Register here for the webinar.

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