Portman Op-Ed in The Columbus Dispatch: Trolley Barn Complex, Athens Company Show Why Tax Credit Program Works and Should Be Made Permanent

April 12, 2021 | Portman Difference

Yesterday, The Columbus Dispatch published Senator Portman's Op-Ed highlighting the New Markets Tax Credit (NTMC) program and the success that it has had in Ohio and around the country for the past 20 years.

This past February, Portman continued his support to make the NTMC permanent, leading efforts with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to reintroduce New Markets Tax Credit Extension Act (S.456) for the 117th Congress. This bill would permanently authorize a federal tax credit for businesses or economic development projects in areas with poverty rates of at least 20 percent, or median incomes at or below 80 percent of the area median. After seeing significant benefits for Ohio cities, Senator Portman previously led the effort to preserve the credit during the 2017 tax reform and helped secure the five-year extension in the end-of-year spending package that passed Congress in December 2020.

The entire op-ed can be viewed here and excerpts are below.

Trolley Barn Complex, Athens company show why tax credit program works and should be made permanent

The Columbus Dispatch

Senator Rob Portman

April 11, 2021 

I also am proud that the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program, which for more than 20 years has fueled meaningful private investment into communities in need, has played a crucial role in helping defeat this disease.

The program gives businesses a credit on their taxes when they invest in hard-hit areas across the nation. Between 2003 and 2020, more than $26 billion in tax credits have been provided under this program to help private businesses participate in this important effort.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted America’s widening economic rift, the NMTC helped companies in Ohio and across the country grow and invest in hard-hit communities, creating jobs and promoting economic development. Since being enacted in 2000, it has mobilized $5.5 billion in Ohio’s distressed areas through 529 separate projects, including manufacturing expansion, daycare and community centers, business incubators and much more – all with positive and lasting impact on Ohio families and communities. 

For example, in Columbus, a collection of old, disused buildings known as the Trolley Barn complex, are being refurbished into a vibrant new community marketplace, funded in part by NMTC. 

When other members tried to eliminate the NMTC program during tax reform in 2017, I successfully fought to preserve it and, most recently, I fought to ensure a five-year extension of the credit was included in the appropriations package signed into law last December.

But we must act to build on bipartisan support to make the New Markets Tax Credit permanent, giving businesses the peace of mind to make these life-changing investments in communities that need it. To that end, I was proud to join my colleague, Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., to introduce bipartisan legislation earlier this year to permanently extend this critical program. 

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