Comments about LIHTC Program During Senate Confirmation Hearings
During Dr. Ben Carson’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs, Carson spoke of harnessing the private sector to help those in poverty, and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit came up specifically during a conversation with Senator David Purdue (R-GA).
“The Low Income Housing Tax Credit…has allowed an enormous number of places to be renovated,” Carson explained. He went on to describe a conversation he had with an unnamed developer in Detroit regarding the success of the LIHTC in clearing blight in Detroit, saying, “There is a lot of good will in the private sector.”
However, during Treasury Secretary Nominee Steven Mnuchin’s confirmation hearing, Mnuchin was noncommittal in retaining LIHTCs. Several committee members asked Mnuchin for his commitment to retain LIHTCs in tax reform, but he made no specific commitments. He said broadly that he would work with Congress to determine which parts of the tax code should be retained, revised, or eliminated.
Specifically, when Senator Ron Wyden asked, “Are you committed to ensuring that the low-income housing tax credit program is maintained as a part of tax reform?” Steven Mnuchin replied, “President Trump’s objective is to pass tax reform that grows the economy and benefits all Americans. If confirmed, I look forward to working with Congress on a review of the housing tax credit programs.” A similar answer was given when Senator Maria Cantwell asked if Mnuchin considered the LIHTC a special interest deduction.