On April 1, 2014, Senator Ron Wyden, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, proposed the Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency Act which would revive many of the tax credits which expired at the end of 2013. The bill is scheduled for markup on April 3, 2014.
Under the bill, the new markets tax credit program would be extended for two years with a maximum amount of allocation authority of $3.5 billion each year. The bill also would further extend a previously extended provision in the low-income housing tax credit (“LIHTC”) program, which allows for the for the credit rate in LIHTC deals to be frozen at 9% for the next two years. Notable credits left out of the extension bill include the wind production tax credit and the conservation easement tax credit.
Patrick Robertson, Managing Director at FTI Consulting, remarked that “the bill is very likely to be amended and passed by the Senate Finance Committee this week. I believe it is likely to pass the full Senate this Spring, however its fate in the House remains uncertain. The highest probability is that Congress will strike a final extenders deal in the lame duck session after the election.” Extending the low-income housing tax credit provision and new markets tax credit program under this bill would be a victory, but Congress continues to push for overarching tax reform which could return those credits to the chopping block.