Developing Real Estate Projects – A New Look at Old Subsidies

The change in focus of the Federal New Markets Tax Credit Program to non-real estate businesses together with the high demand on the Program has deprived the real estate industry of a very valuable financing subsidy. Developers could use the New Markets Tax Credit Program to generate a subsidy of almost 20% of total project costs. The unavailabilty of the Program going forward will necessitate a new look at some old subsidies. For example, residential rental properties financed with volume cap tax-exempt bonds are eligible for the 4% Federal low-income housing tax credit without competition. The trade off for this subsidy is the restriction of the rental units to tax credit tenants for 30 years. However, this credit subsidy may be a very attractive where market and tax credit units are very similar or the project is focused on senior tenants. Similar traditional subsidies worth looking at in a new light include tax increment financing, financing through the EB-5 Program, and the variety of funding and subsidies available for green properties and properties using renewable energy. There may be some very creative uses for established subsidy programs in the development of new real estate projects.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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