The holiday season came a little early this year for community development organizations that got a piece of $7 billion in tax credits allocated by the Department of the Treasury last week. The New Market Tax Credits program helps low-income or economically distressed cities attract investors in commercial projects.
"Investment capital goes to where it's going to get the greatest return for the lowest risk," said Annie Donovan, director of the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, which distributes the tax credits. "In a lot of these communities, there's a perception, sometimes a misperception, that investing in these communities is riskier."
The NMTC helps make commercial developments in these communities more attractive to investors.
Five Pennsylvania-based organizations received allocations ranging from $45 to $80 million. One, PNC Community Partners, has national reach, but the rest are local organizations in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and the Midstate.
Keystone Crossroads is a statewide public media initiative reporting on the challenges facing Pennsylvania's cities. WPSU is a participating station.