Bill To Increase Aid to Sandy-Stricken Communities Introduced in Congress
June 12th, 2013 by New Jersey Future staff
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, along with Reps. Frank LoBiondo, Rodney Frelinghuysen and eight other members of the New Jersey congressional delegation, has sponsored HR2137, known as the Sandy Tax Relief Act of 2013. Among other things, the legislation would provide an increased disaster allocation of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) by increasing the per-capita rate to $8; would provide $250 million in New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC); and would provide tax-exempt bonds to finance eligible projects in Sandy-affected areas. The legislation was originally introduced in December 2012, and Rep. Pascrell has re-introduced it in the current Congress.
This funding would support additional housing and commercial development to meet the needs created by Sandy.
Several organizations focused on post-Sandy rebuilding issues, including the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey, Monarch Housing Associates, and other partners in the Tri-state area, have prepared a letter thanking Rep. Pascrell and the other original co-sponsors for their leadership in re-introducing the legislation, making a strong case for the additional allocations:
If enacted, this legislation’s provisions to increase the allocation authority for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (Housing Credit), New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) and tax-exempt bonds will accelerate the recovery of [Sandy-affected] communities, creating jobs and generating significant revenue while providing affordable homes and supporting local businesses and economic development projects.
The letter cites the success of similar programs in spurring recovery efforts after such major disasters as Hurricane Katrina and flooding in the Midwest, and it points out that these incentives work effectively as catalysts to direct critically important private-sector investment to areas that need it most.