The good news…
This fall Senator Hatch introduced S.B. 548, the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Act of 2017. This proposed bill builds on the successful 1986 Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) signed into law by President Reagan to give low income tax credit benefits for U.S. families and simultaneously boost the economy from 1986 to 2015. The House version of Hatch’s bill, H.R.1661, has approximately 120 co-sponsors, including our own Rep. Mia Love (UT-04).
Last week Rep. Suzan DelBene (WA-D) introduced the Access to Affordable Housing Act to increase the Low Income Housing Tax Credit by 50% and could lead to the development of up to 400,000 affordable housing units in 10 years.
With a deficit of over 47,000 affordable units in Utah, our state needs as much help with affordable housing as we can get!
The bad news…
In the meantime, the House Ways and Means Committee is currently marking up its “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” H.R. 1, comprehensive tax reform legislation that would have a devastating impact on affordable housing development and preservation throughout the country. Estimates indicate that the tax reform bill would reduce the future supply of affordable housing by nearly one million units over ten years as a result of the proposed elimination of multifamily Housing Bonds and the lack of modifications to sustain the Credit’s production potential under a reduced corporate tax rate.
The House Ways and Means Committee is marking up its bill this week, with an anticipated vote on the House floor next week. The Senate Finance Committee is expected to release its version of the tax reform legislation tomorrow.
Senator Hatch has been a state leader in recognizing and working on affordable housing. As the Chair of the Senate Finance Committee he has considerable power to impact the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to reflect his own beliefs and the needs of Utahns on affordable housing.
CALL TO ACTION
- Call Sen. Orrin Hatch and thank him for introducing good, much-needed legislation with S.B. 548, and ask him to extend his advocacy for affordable housing to amending the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to make a critical impact on this enormous issue facing our state. You can also his staff if they know about the Access to Affordable Housing Act and whether Sen. Hatch would consider co-sponsoring that bill as well. If you do nothing else today, please do this!
- Constituents: call your U.S. reps! Thank Rep. Love for signing on to co-sponsor the House version H.R. 1661 and ask her to co-sponsor and support the Access to Affordable Housing Act and speak up about the harm that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would do to affordable housing in its current form. Ask Reps. Bishop and Stewart to support the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Act and to oppose cuts in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that reduce critical affordable housing and also reduce jobs generated through housing development.
- Call Senator Lee and ask him to support Hatch’s Affordable Housing Tax Credit Act of 2017.
What the Low Income Housing Tax Credit accomplished
The LIHTC is considered a successful program that contributed homes, jobs and revenue to the economy, including:
- 3 million homes developed or preserved
- 7 million low-income households provided with affordable homes
- 3.4 million jobs supported per year
- $323 billion local income generated
- $127 billion tax revenue generated
These success stories can continue if good policy is passed to continue providing critical affordable housing across the country.