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Wyden and Hatch Announce Markup of Bill Extending Expiring Tax Provisions, Including 9 Percent Housing Credit Rate Floor

Published on April 2, 2014 by Garth Rieman
Wyden and Hatch Announce Markup of Bill Extending Expiring Tax Provisions, Including 9 Percent Housing Credit Rate Floor

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) announced April 1 that the Committee will markup on April 3 legislation to extend for two years many expiring tax provisions, including a provision originally included in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 establishing a minimum 9 percent Housing Credit rate.  We also understand that Committee members Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Pat Roberts (R-KS) plan to offer an amendment to establish a 4 percent Credit rate floor for acquisition of existing affordable housing.

Wyden said he expects this “extenders” bill to be the last of virtually annual bills to extend expiring provisions.  He also said it sets the stage for tax reform by making tough choices on which expiring provisions are extended.  Hatch said that “this pared-back bill demonstrates to the American people that Congress can and will make the tough decisions needed to help clean up our broken tax code” and that the markup will “provide members with ample opportunity to thoroughly examine these provisions.”

As NCSHA has requested and expected for some time based on conversations with congressional staff, the bill extends the 9 percent Housing Credit rate floor so it would apply to allocations made before January 1, 2016.  According to the Committee’s bill summary, this two-year extension is estimated to cost $4 million over 10 years.

The bill also extends for two years the New Markets Tax Credit, special treatment for the basic housing allowance for military personnel in Housing Credit apartments, the favorable tax treatment of mortgage debt relief, and the deduction for mortgage insurance payments.

If the Committee were to pass the bill with a strong bipartisan majority, the outlook for Senate action sometime this year seems favorable.  The timing, however, is uncertain.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) recently said the Committee will begin to examine this month expiring provisions to determine which should be made permanent.  Though his tax reform discussion draft would continue the floating 9 percent Housing Credit rate, NCSHA and other stakeholders are encouraging the Committee to extend the 9 percent Credit rate floor or make it permanent, either as part of extenders legislation or tax reform.