ACTION Campaign Focused on Influencing Spending Legislation
The A Call To Invest in Our Neighborhoods (ACTION) Campaign is a national, grassroots coalition of over 2,100 national, state, and local organizations and businesses calling on Congress to protect, expand, and strengthen the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. Its most immediate focus is the omnibus Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 spending legislation currently being negotiated in Congress, which must pass by March 23. This deadline was put in place Feb. 9, when a brief government shutdown ended. This was after Congress and President Trump reached a two-year budget agreement, but required a continuing resolution to gain time to agree to details.
The omnibus is likely to include a tax component, which could serve as a vehicle to advance the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act. The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act was introduced in both houses of Congress last year. The Senate version includes provisions that would increase the annual allocation for LIHTCs by 50 percent, establish a minimum 4 percent credit rate for tax-exempt bond projects, allow income-averaging, allow states to grant a 30 percent basis boost for bond-financed developments, and provide a 50 percent basis boost for extremely low-income units. The House version is the same, except that the draft doesn’t include the 50 percent increase in tax credit allocations.
According to the ACTION campaign, the bill’s sponsors in the Senate, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), are highly motivated to advance the bill (S. 548) this year and are looking for every possible opportunity to include it in any upcoming tax legislation. And they are doing everything they can to support their efforts. The campaign is also working closely with Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL-26), the new lead Republican on the House version of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (H.R. 1661), as well as Ranking Member Richard Neal’s (D-MA-1) office, to continue to build support in the House.