NDC Finds Federally Funded Economic Development Tax Programs Pay Back the Government

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New National Development Council White Paper Presented in Washington, D.C. to Community and Economic Development Leaders Documents Programs’ Outcomes

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Declining Federal Support for Community and Regional Economic Development Since 1978

“Over the last three decades, federal outlays for programs that support community and regional economic development have fallen by 75% as a share of Gross Domestic Product.”

Robert W. Davenport, president of the National Development Council (NDC), spoke to an audience of community and economic development stakeholders from across the country who were gathered to discuss the future of federal community development spending at a policy meeting in Washington, D.C. In conjunction with the event, NDC released a white paper detailing the benefits of federal economic development programs, such as New Markets Tax Credits, Low Income House Tax Credits and Small Business Administration.

“Over the last three decades, federal outlays for programs that support community and regional economic development have fallen by 75% as a share of Gross Domestic Product,” said Davenport. “Because of this, NDC hopes to create a dialog among community and economic development organizations across the United States and encourage them to share the results of their work with their elected officials to demonstrate the significant contributions these community development tools provide national and local economies.”

Davenport affirmed NDC’s commitment to preserving federally funded economic development tools by launching NDC ACT, Advocating for Communities Together. NDC ACT will serve as a call to action to preserve federally funded economic development tax programs.

The National Development Council’s findings conclude that these programs benefit the communities where they are employed but also, by creating quality, long lasting jobs, produce enough local, state and federal tax revenue to offset the cost of these programs.

Three Highlights from NDC’s White Paper:

  •     Between 2009 and 2011, the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) financed over 200,000 units of affordable housing. Not only has LIHTC made significant improvements to the quality and quantity of rental housing stock across America, but it has also generated significant economic activity including over 262,000 construction and permanent jobs.
  •     Between 2009 and 2011, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s New Market Tax Credit program cost the federal government roughly $2.3 billion in terms of forgone federal tax revenue. Construction jobs generated an estimated $1.2 billion in federal tax revenue. Permanent full-time jobs generated about $700 million in the first year after project completion. That means that the program generated over $1.9 billion in federal tax revenue compared to a cost of $2.3 billion.
  •     Between 2009 and 2011, the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) flagship 7(a) loan program guaranteed over 130,000 loans to 125,000 businesses. The total of loans guaranteed by SBA exceeded $41 billion. The three year cost of the guarantee to the federal government was $273 million. SBA estimated that this financing supported 1.4 million jobs.

About National Development Council

Since 1969 National Development Council has worked to create and implement economic and community development strategies that increase the flow of capital to urban and rural communities, establish finance programs and help to create a professional economic and community development workforce. NDC is a not for profit that offers a wide range of services, including development assistance, professional training, small-business financing, and debt and equity for residential, commercial, public and nonprofit facilities.


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Matt Calcavecchia
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NDC ACT- Advocating for Communities Together
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