On August 27, the Senate Finance Committee (SFC) released the final report from the Employment and Community Development (E&CD) Taskforce on temporary tax policy. The taskforce was one of six bipartisan taskforces formed by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) in May to examine more than 40 temporary tax provisions that expired, or will expire, between December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2019. The E&CD taskforce was specifically charged with examining six tax policies designed to encourage increased participation in the workforce and to expand economic opportunity in low-income communities, including the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC). Ultimately, the E&CD taskforce did not come to consensus to make recommendations related directly to the NMTC; however, the report does note that “tax policy should be enacted with long-term time horizons, if not on a permanent basis.”
Enterprise will continue to advocate for the permanent extension of the NMTC, which is currently set to expire at the end of the year. Meanwhile, legislation to permanently extend the NMTC, the New Markets Tax Credit Extension Act of 2019 (S. 750 and H.R. 1680), continues to gain bipartisan support with 31 cosponsors in the Senate and 97 cosponsors in the House to date. Read more about the taskforce report on Enterprise’s blog, here.
Congress Deadline to Finalize FY20 Spending Bill Fast Approaching
With Congress set to return from August recess on September 9, lawmakers will be left with 13 workdays to pass Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations legislation before federal funding expiries at the end of the month. As of now, the Senate has not yet released any of their bills. Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) has stated that the committee expects to start marking up its spending measures on September 12. House members who have already passed ten FY20 spending bills must now readjust funding levels in negotiations with the Senate, as the top-line numbers they initially used provided more funding for non-defense programs than the signed budget deal. As negotiations unfold, Enterprise encourages Congress to provide the highest possible funding levels for critical affordable housing and community development programs.