How the New U.S. Tax Law Affects Community Development Projects

How the New U.S. Tax Law Affects Community Development Projects

The new U.S. tax law is considered one of the biggest tax overhauls since 1986 affecting community development projects.

As Congress cobbled together the biggest tax overhaul since 1986, they nearly wiped out the essential sources of funding for large-scale community development projects—namely, three federal tax credit programs that attract private investment for neighborhood revitalization. Developers, financiers, and municipalities pushed back and managed to keep most of what they wanted intact. But now they are dealing with what some of them describe as the new tax law’s unintended consequences.

One of those unintended consequences: a signature component of the tax act—the reduction of the tax rate on corporations to 21 percent from 35 percent—threatens to diminish the relative value of tax credits. Developers qualify for tax credits from the federal government to help raise equity for their projects. Corporations typically invest in the projects and use the tax credits to offset their federal tax liability. But with the lower tax rate now in place, developers fear that investor appetite for the tax credits may wane.


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