Last week the House passed a series of bills to make permanent the tax cuts enacted in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The legislation now heads to the Senate, where it is not expected to be considered. There were no provisions directly related to affordable housing or community development included in these bills. Lawmakers are now shifting their attention to the lame duck session, with House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) signaling last week that Congress will consider tax extenders following the midterm elections. Senate leadership has previously signaled interest in taking up tax extenders this year, but this is the first time House leadership has suggested openness as well.
Should tax extenders advance as part of larger tax legislation this fall, which may also include technical corrections or other tax provisions, there may be an opportunity to enact provisions from the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 548/H.R. 1661). 175 House members have signed on in support of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit), and 41 Senators have co-sponsored the Senate version of the bill. To position the Housing Credit as strongly as possible going into any potential negotiations in the lame duck session, Enterprise encourages all stakeholders to continue urging elected officials to sign on if they haven’t already, and thank current co-sponsors for their continued support. Visit the ACTION Campaign’s Advocacy Toolkit for resources to support the Housing Credit.
Chairman Brady has also noted his interest in considering the tax extenders that have support for permanent authorization. This presents a critical opportunity to permanently extend the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC), which is currently set to expire at the end of 2019. The New Markets Tax Credit Extension Act (S. 384/H.R. 1098), which would permanently extend the Credit and index it to inflation, has strong bipartisan support, with 100 co-sponsors in the House and 19 co-sponsors in the Senate. Visit the New Markets Tax Credit Coalition website for resources to advocate for NMTC.