Is a mostly divided Congress uniting behind New Market Tax Credits?

Bipartisan support is growing in Washington D.C. to make the federal New Market Tax Credits program permanent. The program has provided critical financing to a vast array fo Oregon projects, including the creation of the Gerding Theater at the Armory in the Pearl District.

Bipartisan support is growing in Washington D.C. to make a popular federal tax credit permanent.

The federal New Market Tax Credit has spurred hundreds of millions of dollars of development in Oregon, but is slated to expire this year. The government uses New Market Tax credits to incent developers to invest in distressed communities.

GlobeSt.com reports a group is forming in the U.S. House of Representatives to make the New Market Tax Credit program permanent as part of a comprehensive tax reform effort.

The House effort includes 70 members from both sides of the aisle.

The move follows a bill introduced in June in the U.S. Senate to permanently extend the New Markets Tax Credit Act of 2013.

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D.-Wash., was a co-sponsor of that effort.

GlobeSt.com says the Treasury Department has awarded more than $36.5 billion in allocations since the program’s inception.

In Oregon, New Market Tax Credits support a wide array of business activity.

Tax credit financing supported early development of the Pearl District, including the redevelopment of the Gerding Theater at the Armory, and condominiums and social service infrastructure in Old Town/Chinatown.

Portland-based Ecotrust has invested more than $122 million in tax credits to support forest-related investments, including a cellulosic ethanol facility in Boardman and mill upgrades at Ochoco Lumber in John Day, among others.

They remain an important source of financial support, too.

Gerding Edlen Development Co., which is serving as developer for the Pacific Northwest College of Art’s new home at 511 N.W. Broadway Building on the North Park Blocks, is working to secure an allocation to support the $15 million project.

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