July 30, 2018

Bipartisan Legislation Introduced in the House to Expand NMTC in Rural Communities

Last week House Ways and Means Committee Members Jason Smith (R-MO-8) and Terri Sewell (D-AL-7) introduced the Rural Jobs Zones Act (H.R. 6627), bipartisan legislation that would expand New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation authority for projects targeted at certain rural communities.

The bill would provide $500 million in additional NMTC authority for both 2018 and 2019, targeted at Rural Job Zones (NMTC-eligible census tracts in rural communities eligible for the USDA Business and Industry Program). The bill also includes a 25 percent set aside for counties experiencing persistent poverty and high-migration. See the New Markets Tax Credit Coalition’s blog post for more information.

Enterprise applauds Representatives Smith and Sewell for introducing this bill and demonstrating their commitment to revitalizing distressed rural communities.

Enterprise also urges Congress to permanently extend the NMTC, as proposed in the bipartisan New Markets Tax Credit Extension Act in both the House (H.R. 1098) and Senate (S. 384).

The NMTC Program received a long-term extension of five years (2015-2019) in December 2014, at its current level of $3.5 billion annually. Recognizing the NMTC's proven track record, Congress retained the NMTC in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, preserving its current authorization through 2019. It is now critical that Congress permanently extend the NMTC and provide stability and certainty to this critical community development tool for low-income communities.

Since its inception in 2000, the NMTC has attracted private investment capital to some of the most distressed urban, suburban and rural communities. Between 2003 and 2015, the NMTC generated over $80 billion in capital investment and created over one million jobs in communities with high poverty rates, low incomes and high unemployment. According to the Treasury Department, for every $1 in foregone tax revenue from the NMTC program, approximately $8 of private capital is leveraged for investment in distressed communities.

Enterprise will continue to support expansion and permanent extension of the NMTC, and we look forward to working with Congress to enact these critical bills.

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