Bipartisan Bill Would Focus New Market Tax Credits toward Fighting Rural Poverty, Creating Jobs 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today cosponsored bipartisan legislation to put greater focus on using New Market Tax Credits (NMTC) to increase job-creating investments in rural communities.

The Rural Jobs Act (S.1671) would expand upon the U.S. Treasury Department program by designating $500 million in NMTC investments for “Rural Job Zones,” which are low-income communities that have a population smaller than 50,000 inhabitants and are not adjacent to an urban area.

“By creating Rural Job Zones, more investment will be specifically targeted to areas where it is most needed to lift communities through job creation and development.  For Mississippi, the Rural Jobs Act could be a game changer, and I hope this legislation gets the attention it deserves as we work to build a strong post-pandemic economy,” Hyde-Smith said.

S.1671 was introduced by U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives.

“Recent jobs reports have shown that our nation is on the path to recovery, but there is more progress to be made,” Wicker said.  “The Rural Jobs Act would help boost private investment in rural communities through expanded tax incentives.  This legislation would be an important addition to the New Market Tax Credit Program, which has already spurred tens of billions of private investment in distressed communities.” 

The NMTC program provides a modest tax incentive to private investors to invest in low-income communities.  NMTC projects have spurred over $42 billion in private investment and generated over one million jobs since 2000.  However, less than one-in-four NMTC jobs have been created in rural communities.

The Rural Job Zones outlined in the Rural Jobs Act would be established in 342 out of the 435 congressional districts across the country.  The bill would also require that at least 25 percent of this new investment activity be targeted to persistent poverty counties and high migration counties.

Additional cosponsors include Senators Mark Warner (D-Va.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.).  The bill has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee.