Legislative Update: The Fight for the NMTC Begins and Ends at Home
The following was distributed as part of the New Markets Tax Credit Connection - Summer 2014 newsletter.
by Bob Moss, Principal and National Director of Governmental Affairs, CohnReznick
In late June, former President Bill Clinton toured the $35 million Stout Street Health Center project in Denver. The project was financed in part using the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program signed into law by Clinton in 2000. He commented about the jobs and investment that had been spurred across the country by the tax credit program. Certainly, it is the type of press needed for a program that can create quality jobs and economic development across America. However, the industry is in need of more grassroots efforts to ensure that the NMTC endures in Congress.
Why? Because the future of the credit will not be determined in Washington, DC. It will be determined by getting Members of Congress out to see grand openings and groundbreakings, where the story can be best told. If you don’t believe me just ask the Ways and Means Chairman David Camp.
In January of 2013, I met with Chairman Camp to talk about another credit, the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC). I shared all of the data on this very successful program including substantiated performance figures with Chairman Camp. His reaction? “Bob, lots of folks from lots of programs bring in numbers, but seeing is believing. Get my Committee Members out to see properties in their districts.”
It was great advice, and we followed his lead.
Since our meeting in January, 20 out of 24 Ways and Means Republican Members visited a property. In February of this year, Chairman Camp unveiled his tax reform discussion draft and the LIHTC was included as a program. It was one of the few that survived. The results are clear—the success rate to date is 100%.
Many people tell me they want to come to DC and see their Senator or Congressman. I encourage this outreach. However, based on what we have seen, save the cost of a plane ticket and use it for coffee and cookies at your grand opening reception or groundbreaking as it will be more impactful in saving the credit. For those of you who received an award this year, find out when your Member of Congress will be home, and schedule your grand opening around his or her calendar. Use a strategy that is working – after all, seeing is believing.
Bob Moss is a CohnReznick Principal and National Director of Governmental Affairs. Bob leads the Firm’s federal and state government relations efforts. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-648-1406. For more legislative insight from Bob, visit our Capitol Connection webpage.
Follow Bob: @BobMoss42
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