Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Community Development

Enhancing New Markets Tax Credit Pipeline Flow

Author(s): Kevin Leichner, Columbia University

October 1, 2010

Community Development Working Papers

In a new Community Development Working Paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, author Kevin Leichner examines New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) performance during the Great Recession and provides recommendations for maintaining deal flow to support the NMTC project pipeline and overcome financing gaps. Between 2002 and 2009, the Federal government allocated $26 billion worth of NMTC to support community development projects. Based on new data from the respondents to a Winter 2010 Center for Community Development Investments survey as well as three case studies, NMTC stakeholders are finding their NMTC portfolios are outperforming other investments. At the same time, however, their responses also indicate that the Congressional expansion of the program, with larger annual allocations, may exceed the ability of the NMTC industry to provide high-quality investor-backed projects. As a consequence, investor demand for the tax credits has been falling, resulting in lower investor pay-ins and reduced impact in low-income communities. Based on survey responses, case studies, and industry literature, the paper concludes with recommendations for strengthening the program and stimulating demand.

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