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MDA program promoting New Market Tax Credit options May 5

Good things can happen in the places that need it the most with access to financing options for state and federal tax credits to community development entities (CDEs). Those options enable CDEs to attract investment from the private-sector and reinvest these amounts in low-income communities. The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) is bringing that message to the state’s business community with a CDE and New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Workshop May 5.

Representatives from the MDA and the U.S. Department of the Treasury are scheduled to speak at the daylong event featuring Gov. Haley Barbour as the keynote luncheon speaker.

“I commend the MDA for their efforts to increase awareness among the state’s business community about programs available to Mississippians interested in economic development,” Barbour says.

Kathy Gelston, bureau director in the MDA’s Financial Resources Division, says the workshop is an overview of the federal program designed to provide practical information on the usage of these credits as a financing tool for Mississippi projects.

“What we hope to accomplish with this workshop is to let economic developers, bankers and other members of the business community begin to understanding the various NMTC financing options and how they can help economic development in the state,” Gelston says. “In addition, there will also be an overview of the Mississippi Equity Investment Tax Credit Program, a program designed to encourage investment in the state that provides state tax credits in addition to the federal incentives.

“We are trying to make sure everyone in the state understands the Mississippi program that is a companion to the federal program. The Legislature just passed a bill to improve our Mississippi credits to make them more attractive to investors. I plan to explain the Mississippi credit program and how the Mississippi Equity Credits can be used to offset income tax or insurance premium taxes.”

Capital connections

Donna Gambrell, director of the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund (www.CDFIFUND.gov), U.S. Department of the Treasury, says NMTCs have been having an important impact in providing capital to underserved populations in the country. The CDFI Fund’s mission is to expand the capacity of financial institutions to provide credit, capital and financial services to underserved low-income populations and communities in the U.S.

Gambrell says while her organization does not serve as consultants or help organizations with their applications, it does educate the public about the program and how to apply and to facilitate bringing experts together to talk to business people who are interested in applying for NMTCs. Topics of discussion at Monday’s workshop will include how to apply for NMTCs, and how to find investors to finance local projects.

“There is great importance to all these folks sitting around the table to work together to assist and support one another,” Gambrell says. “Awareness is the first step.”

NMTCs are being used for a major King Edward Hotel renovation in Jackson and in Coast projects.

Contact MBJ contributing writer Becky Gillette at 4becky@cox.net.

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