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NCSHA Advocates Preserving and Strengthening Housing Credit and Housing Bonds in Statement to Finance Committee Working Group

Published on April 20, 2015 by Jennifer Schwartz
NCSHA Advocates Preserving and Strengthening Housing Credit and Housing Bonds in Statement to Finance Committee Working Group

On April 15, NCSHA submitted the attached statement to the Senate Finance Committee’s Community Development & Infrastructure Working Group in support of preserving and strengthening the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds.  Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) established the Community Development & Infrastructure Working Group and four other Working Groups—each comprised of members of the Finance Committee—to analyze current tax law and examine policy trade-offs and reform options. Among other issues, Hatch and Wyden charged the Community Development & Infrastructure Working Group with housing tax issues, including the Credit and tax-exempt bonds.

As part of the process, Hatch and Wyden solicited input from stakeholders on how to make the tax code simpler, fairer, and more efficient. NCSHA’s comments focus on preserving and expanding the Housing Credit; modifying program rules to enhance its effectiveness, including setting minimum 9 percent and 4 percent Housing Credit rates, providing states discretion to employ a basis boost for 4 percent Credit properties financed with tax-exempt bonds, broadening access to working families and extremely low-income households through income averaging, and standardizing rural income limit rules for tax-exempt bond financed Housing Credit properties; and retaining important program features that past tax reform proposals would have eliminated, such as the 4 percent Credit for acquisition and the national pool.

NCSHA’s comments also urge the Working Group to preserve tax-exempt Housing Bonds and press for modifications to the Housing Bond program to enhance performance, including eliminating the Mortgage Revenue Bond (MRB) purchase price limits, repealing the MRB refinancing limitation, increasing the MRB home improvement loan limit, exempting Housing Bonds from the Alternative Minimum Tax, and strengthening the Mortgage Credit Certificate program.

NCSHA also joined in the two attached coalition statements to the Community Development & Infrastructure Working Group: the Affordable Rental Housing ACTION (A Call To Invest In Our Neighborhoods) Campaign statement on protecting and strengthening the Housing Credit and multifamily Housing Bonds; and the Municipal Bonds For America coalition statement in support of municipal bonds, including private activity bonds.

The Working Group will consider all the comments it receives and will submit options for consideration to the full Finance Committee sometime in late May or early June.

The House Ways and Means Committee has not established a similar formal process for soliciting input on tax reform. However, NCSHA is meeting with both Finance and Ways and Means members’ staff to continue advocating for and educating them about the Credit and Bond programs.

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