Report: Tax credit created 54,000 jobs

A tax break intended to spur development in struggling economic areas helped create 54,000 jobs in 2013, a coalition supporting the incentive said Tuesday.

Those 54,000 jobs from the New Markets Tax Credit are about 2 percent of all the jobs created in the U.S. last year, the report from the New Markets Tax Credit Coalition added.

The report’s data comes from more than 60 companies that use the credit to invest in low-income areas. The New Markets Tax Credit, signed into law in 2000, seeks to increase private capital investment in areas with significant poverty challenges.

In all, the tax credit coalition says that businesses using the tax break generated more than 560,000 jobs between 2003 and 2012, with more than a third of those being full-time positions. The credit itself cost the government around $8 billion, meaning each job cost less than $20,000, the coalition added.

“This is an important financial tool that communities nationwide are using to revitalize their local economies. The NMTC has resulted in an unprecedented level of investment in communities left outside the economic mainstream,” said Bob Rapoza, a spokesman for the New Markets Tax Credit Coalition.

“For many rural and urban communities, the NMTC is the only opportunity available for credit-starved, small- and medium-sized businesses.”

Like more than 50 other tax breaks, the New Markets Tax Credit expired at the end of 2013. The Senate Finance Committee has cleared a measure to restore the credit for another two years, and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have called for making it permanent.

Still, top lawmakers have said they don’t expect a final deal on the expired tax breaks, called extenders, to materialize before November’s elections.