In an August 4, 2013, op-ed in the Star-Ledger, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop made the case for protecting the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and the New Market Tax Credit (NMTC).
The article – Gridlock putting cities at risk – highlights “Tax policies created during the administrations of Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton helped promote the rebirth of our cities.”
Mayor Fulop identifies these as ones that the “the current hostility in Washington is putting these achievements in peril.” We have reported previously on the blank slate tax reform that threatens these two programs.
Speaking about the LIHTC, Mayor Fulop sates:
It is widely viewed as one of the most effective federal housing programs ever and is responsible for as much as 90 percent of all affordable housing built nationwide, according to Michael Rubinger, president and CEO of the respected New York City-based Local Initiatives Support Corp.
In Jersey City alone, this tax credit has resulted in 1,681 units being built since 1993.
It’s not only about building affordable housing, though. Construction momentum encourages all sorts of housing options to be built, welcoming a diversity of new residents moving into cities as we’ve seen here.
Speaking about the NMTC, Mayor Fulop sates:
In Jersey City, we’ve seen it used to finance the construction of the Journal Square City Center Towers, which will transform that section of our city when complete, as well as a state-of-the-art student center at St. Peter’s University.
Summing up Mayor Fulop states:
It’s far too easy for members of Congress outside America’s cities to say the credits are bad policy. Simply stated, these lawmakers are wrong. Take a look at New Jersey’s largest cities.
Billions of dollars in private investment have been made over just the last decade to construct housing, office and retail space. This building boom wouldn’t have taken place without the federal tax policies now under attack as well as homegrown state programs created by Democratic and Republican governors alike.
Honest disagreement over policy is part of our democracy. Willfully ignoring the results of programs instituted under leaders of both parties for partisan purposes is shortsighted and wrong.