New Markets Tax Credits and Opportunity Zones – Bill Proposed in the US Senate to make NMTC Permanent and prioritize grant funding in OZs

Earlier this week, 4 Senators introduced legislation that would make the new markets tax credit (NMTC) permanent and would seek to encourage further investment in opportunity zones (OZs).

Senators Marco Rubio, R-Florida, Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Kelly Loeffler, R-Georgia, and Thom Tillis, R-North Carolina, cosponsored the Economic Empowerment for Underserved Communities Act.

The bill, a summary of which is attached, makes the NMTC permanent with a $5 Billion annual allocation adjusted for inflation.

Per Novogradac and the Senator’s office announcement, the legislation also encourages investment in Opportunity Zones (“OZs) by establishing representatives to facilitate participation in the OZ program, prioritizes grant assistance in OZs through the Health Resource and Services Administration, allocates $7 Billion to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), establishes a Small Business Investment Company facility to enhance access to venture capital for underserved groups and businesses affected by COVID-19, and extends Small Business Administration debt relief provisions from the CARES Act.

The NMTC is authorized only through the calendar-year 2020 round. 

Senator Loeffler’s office released a summary of the bill.

Duane Morris has an active Tax Credits and Opportunity Zone Team to help organizations and individuals plan, respond to, and invest in Opportunity Zones and low income areas throughout the USA, including the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico using tax credit equity and standard equity. We have closed over 61 OZ deals since their inception and are actively working on over 38 OZ projects for owner/developers, investors and business owners. We would be happy to discussion your proposed project with you. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Art Momjian, Scott Gluck, Lee Potter, Keli Isaacson Whitlock, Anastasios Kastrinakis, or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

New Markets Tax Credits – Expansion and Extension of $3.5 Billion proposed over the next 4 years – WOW!

Earlier this week on December 14, 2020, Reps. Terri Sewell, D-Alabama, and Tom Reed, R-New York, introduced legislation to extend and increase the new markets tax credit (NMTC).

The New Markets Stabilization Act would increase the NMTC allocation by $3.5 billion over four years, allow investors to carry back those credits for five years, exempt the NMTC from the 75% general business credit limitation, permanently exempt the NMTC from the alternative minimum tax and provide relief from certain debt modification rules for NMTC issuers and borrowers.

Per Novogradac, Sewell and Reed previously introduced legislation to make the NMTC permanent.

The NMTC expires at the end of this year, although the calendar-year 2020 round will be allocated next summer.

Duane Morris has an active Tax Credits and Opportunity Zone Team to help organizations and individuals plan, respond to, and invest in Opportunity Zones and low income areas throughout the USA, including the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico using tax credit equity and standard equity. We have closed over 61 OZ deals since their inception and are actively working on over 38 OZ projects for owner/developers, investors and business owners.  We would be happy to discussion your proposed project with you.  Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Art Momjian, Scott Gluck, Lee Potter, Keli Isaacson Whitlock, AK Kastrinakis, or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

New Markets Tax Credits – Record Number of 2020 Applications; $5B in credits to be awarded

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) announced earlier this week that it received 208 applications under the calendar year (CY) 2020 round of the New Markets Tax Credit Program (NMTC Program).

Per Treasury, the NMTC Program advances economic development in economically distressed communities by making tax credit allocations available to Community Development Entities (CDEs) for targeted investments in eligible areas.

The CDEs that applied under the CY 2020 round are headquartered in 44 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. These applicants requested an aggregate total of $15.1 billion in NMTC allocation authority, over 3x the $5.0 billion in authority available for the 2020 round.

Created by Congress in December of 2000, the NMTC Program permits individual and corporate taxpayers to receive a credit against federal income taxes for making qualified equity investments in CDEs. The investor is provided a tax credit that equals 39% of the cost of the investment and is claimed over a seven-year period. Substantially all of the taxpayer’s investment must be used by the CDE to make qualified investments in low-income communities.

According to Treasury statistics, through the first 16 rounds of the NMTC Program, the CDFI Fund has made 1,254 awards totaling $61 billion in tax credit allocation authority. This $61 billion includes $3 billion in Recovery Act Awards and $1 billion of special allocation authority to be used for the recovery and redevelopment of the Gulf Opportunity Zone.

Duane Morris has an active Tax Credits and Opportunity Zone Team to help CDCs and other organizations and individuals plan, respond to, and invest in typical deals as well as Opportunity Zones and low income areas throughout the USA, including the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. We have closed over 61 OZ deals since their inception and are actively working on over 38 OZ projects for owner/developers, investors and business owners.  We would be happy to discussion your proposed project with you.  Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Art Momjian, Scott Gluck, Lee Potter, Keli Isaacson Whitlock, AK Kastrinakis, or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

PSEG invests in a 25% interest of Ocean Wind – the $1.7B Wind Project off the NJ Coast

Public Service Enterprise Group announced earlier today, Friday, December 4, 2020, that it will invest in a 25% share of Ocean Wind, the $1.7 billion, 1,100-megawatt wind energy project off the coast of Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Ocean Wind is owned by Ørsted North America, and is anticipated to provide 500,000 households with energy when operational.

It’s the first of three tranches of 7,500 megawatts in offshore wind the Murphy administration is aiming to have in the state’s energy capacity by 2050.

The operation and maintenance of the Ocean Wind facility is expected to create over 65  full-time jobs during the 25-year lifecycle of the project, according to Gabriel Martinez, a spokesperson for Ørsted.

In June, according to NJBIZ, Gov. Phil Murphy unveiled a 200-acre “wind port” in Salem County on the Delaware Bay, where the wind turbines will be produced and shipped out across the Jersey Shore.

The facility will be located in Lower Alloway Creek Township, adjacent to PSEG’s Hope Creek Nuclear Generation Station – at a facility PSEG already owns.  The site is within a mile of a designated federal Opportunity Zone and could spur some additional development within the nearby zone.

Duane Morris has an active Opportunity Zone Team to help CDCs and other organizations and individuals plan, respond to, and invest in Opportunity Zones and low income areas throughout the USA, including the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. We have closed over 45 OZ deals since their inception and are actively working on over 54 OZ projects for owner/developers, investors and business owners.  We would be happy to discussion your proposed project with you.  Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Scott Gluck, Lee Potter, Keli Isaacson Whitlock, AK Kastrinakis, Art Momjian or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Treasury awards $204.1M in CDFI Funds to Low Income Native American Communities

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) announced and awarded 397 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) $204.1 million in awards.

The awards, through the fiscal year (FY) 2020 round of the Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI Program) and the Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program), will enable CDFIs to increase lending and investment activity in low-income and economically distressed communities across the nation.

“I am proud to announce the fiscal year 2020 CDFI Program and NACA Program Award Recipients,” said CDFI Fund Director Jodie Harris. “These organizations are providing vital economic development and financial services to neighborhoods, businesses, and families. I am especially proud that we have 91 new organizations receiving awards this year, expanding the opportunity of this program to even more communities across the country.”

The CDFI Program invests in and builds the capacity of CDFIs to serve low-income people and communities lacking adequate access to affordable financial products and services.

For the FY 2020 CDFI Program round, the CDFI Fund awarded $142.8 million in Base-Financial Assistance and Technical Assistance awards to 357 organizations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. In addition to the Base-Financial Assistance awards, the CDFI Fund will also provide the following supplemental Financial Assistance awards:

• $22 million to 13 CDFIs through the Healthy Food Financing Initiative-Financial Assistance (HFFI-FA) awards, a supplemental program designed to encourage investments in businesses that provide healthy food options for communities;

• $4 million to 17 CDFIs through the Disability Funds-Financial Assistance (DF-FA) awards, a supplemental program designed to help CDFIs finance projects and services that will assist individuals with disabilities; and

• $18.5 million to 106 CDFIs through the Persistent Poverty Counties-Financial Assistance (PPC-FA) awards, which is a supplemental program designed to encourage investments in Persistent Poverty Counties nationwide.

The NACA Program facilitates the creation and advancement of Native CDFIs, which are Certified CDFIs that must predominantly serve Native American, Alaska Native, and/or Native Hawaiian communities. A diversity of institutions in various stages of development are supported by the NACA Program, including: organizations in the early planning stages of CDFI formation; tribal entities working to certify an existing lending program; and established Native CDFIs in need of further capacity building assistance.

Per Treasury’s press release, the CDFI Fund awarded $15.2 million in FY 2020 NACA Program Base-Financial Assistance and Technical Assistance awards to 40 organizations in 18 states. In addition, the CDFI Fund awarded $1.6 million in NACA Program PPC-FA awards to 11 Native CDFIs.

Duane Morris has an active Opportunity Zone Team to help CDCs and other organizations and individuals plan, respond to, and invest in Opportunity Zones and low income areas throughout the USA, including the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. We have closed over 45 OZ deals since their inception and are actively working on over 54 OZ projects for owner/developers, investors and business owners.  We would be happy to discussion your proposed project with you.  Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Scott Gluck, Lee Potter, Keli Isaacson Whitlock, AK Kastrinakis, Art Momjian or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

 

Bill to require the SBA to train Field Representatives regarding Opportunity Zones and OZ Benefits introduced in the House

Reps. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., and William Timmons, R-S.C., introduced the Increasing Opportunities for Small Businesses Act of 2020 (H.R. 8120).

According to Novogradac, the Bill would require the Small Business Administration (SBA) to train representatives on the opportunity zones (OZ) incentive. Trained field representatives would serve as a point of contact for OZ questions and resources, educate elected leaders within their areas and hold an annual seminar in each state to educate managers of qualified opportunity funds, qualified opportunity zone businesses, state and local government officials and other interested persons on how to benefit from OZ investments.

The director of each SBA regional office would be required to submit an annual report on the success of trained field representatives, including any problems and best practices.

Continued positive steps by the House and the White House on directing various federal agencies to prioritize resource allocations and program dollars to help low income areas in various OZs throughout the US, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Duane Morris has an active Opportunity Zone Team to help organizations and individuals plan, respond to, and invest in Opportunity Zones throughout the USA, including the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. We have closed over 45 OZ deals since their inception and are actively working on over 54 OZ projects for owner/developers, investors and business owners.  We would be happy to discussion your proposed project with you.  Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Scott Gluck, Lee Potter, Keli Isaacson Whitlock, AK Kastrinakis, Art Momjian or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe.

Federal GSA prioritizes Opportunity Zones for Owned and Leased Assets – Wow!

On Tuesday, August 25, 2020, the General Services Administration (“GSA”) announced that it will increase its investment in opportunity zones with owned and leased federal buildings, following an executive order that President Donald Trump signed Monday.

The order directed the GSA to prioritize opportunity zones and other distressed communities in federal agency moves to help bring new economic activity to the neighborhoods and to save taxpayer money by occupying more affordable real estate.

“We are excited to now officially include qualified Opportunity Zones in the list of priorities we formally assess when selecting sites,” GSA Administrator Emily Murphy said in a release. “Yesterday’s Executive Order is consistent with GSA’s long term role in spurring economic development within the communities where our buildings are located.”

The GSA owns or leases 376.9 Million Square feet in 9,600 buildings in over 2,200 communities. As the GSA is the largest owner and user of space in the US by far, this is a very significant development in OZ world.

The opportunity zone program was passed into law in 2018 as a way to incentivize investors to place their equity investments into underserved communities. According to BisNow, beyond using the government’s real estate footprint, the Trump administration has sought to support the opportunity zone program through other methods. The Department of Education last week launched a grant program to help institutions of higher education recover from the coronavirus crisis, and it gives priority to applicants who expand educational access to students in opportunity zones.

Duane Morris has an active Opportunity Zone Team to help organizations and individuals plan, respond to, and invest in Opportunity Zones throughout the USA, including the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. We have closed over 45 OZ deals since their inception and are actively working on over 54 OZ projects for owner/developers, investors and business owners.  We would be happy to discussion your proposed project with you.  Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Scott Gluck, Lee Potter, AK Kastrinakis, Art Momjian or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe.

Whopper of a New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Allocation from US Treasury ($3.5B) – these funds can be matched with OZ Funds

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) announced $3,548,485,000 in New Markets Tax Credits that are intended to spur investment and economic growth in low-income urban and rural communities nationwide.

A total of 76 Community Development Entities (CDEs) were awarded tax credit allocations, made through the calendar year (CY) 2019 round of the New Markets Tax Credit Program (NMTC Program).

“Today’s action demonstrates the Administration’s commitment to promoting economic growth and jobs in distressed communities, and to ensuring that every American can get back to work as quickly as possible,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.

”For almost 20 years, the New Markets Tax Credit has attracted private capital into businesses and communities as they recover from significant shocks to our economy,” said CDFI Fund Director Jodie Harris. “Projects that spur job creation, enable access to technology infrastructure and develop community facilities like federal qualified health centers, are examples of how New Markets Tax Credit investments are especially critical for low-income communities across the country.”

The 76 CDEs receiving awards were selected from a pool of 206 applicants that requested an aggregate total of $14.7 billion in tax credit allocation authority. The award recipients are headquartered in 30 different states and the District of Columbia. One-fifth (20%) of the investments will be made in rural communities. It is estimated that these award recipients will make more than $706 million in New Markets Tax Credit investments in non-metropolitan counties.

Yesterday’s announcement brings the total amount awarded through the NMTC Program to $61 billion. Historically, NMTC Program awards have generated $8 of private investment for every $1 invested by the federal government.

Through the end of fiscal year 2018, the most recent data available, NMTC Program award recipients deployed nearly $52.5 billion in investments in low-income communities and businesses; with impacts such as the creation or retention of more than 836,000 jobs, and the construction or rehabilitation of more than 218.3 million square feet of commercial real estate.

As we have discussed here before, NMTC funds CAN be matched with Opportunity Zone equity as OZ deals can stack with other tax programs to really drive a return for OZ projects.  Worthy of consideration. 

If you have any questions about this blog post or other NMTC or OZ questions, do not hesitate to reach out, we are happy to discuss at your convenience.  Be well and stay safe.