What’s happening in Ohio community development? (December edition)

Federal Budget and Tax Extenders Legislation Mostly Positive
On December 18, Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed into law the FY 2016 federal budget of $1.1 Trillion and a broad tax extenders bill deemed the “Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015”. Although additional resources are needed to address the diverse needs of communities in Ohio and across the country, the budget and tax extenders legislation are positive when compared to the obsession with austerity that has held Congress over the past many years. We would like to thank the numerous members that contacted their representatives to help save the HOME, CED and other programs. For a chart on the budget click here.

Some highlights of the budget deal include:

  • HOME Investments Partnership Program – $950M (an increase of $50M)
  • Office of Community Services (OCS) Community Economic Development grants – $29.8M (was at risk of elimination)
  • Congress allocated an additional $2B to the US Treasury administered Hardest Hit Fund. The funds can be used for demolition and/or counseling, although details must be worked out, according to U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s office.
  • National Housing Trust Fund was left alone after facing attempts at a raid and now can be implemented starting in 2016
  • The legislation provides $1.1 billion for Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and their programs including AmeriCorps VISTA ($39.9 million increase over last year)
  • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) – $3.06B (same as FY 2015)
  • National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling ($40M) and HUD Housing Counseling ($47M)
  • Choice neighborhoods Initiative – $125M ($45M more than FY 2015)
  • Total HUD funding increased $3B over FY 2015

Some highlights of the tax extenders include:

  • Low-Income Housing Tax Credit 9% rate made permanent
  • New Market Tax Credits extended for 5 years at $3.5B
  • Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit made permanent
  • The tax bill also extends for another year a law shielding homeowners from taxes on the value of debt relief if a lender forgives that debt.

Thank you for your advocacy on these issues!

To continue reading the December newsletter, click here.

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