The Senate Committee on Finance approved the “Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act,” on April 3 by a voice vote. The measure is commonly referred to as the “tax extenders” bill.
Included in the bill is a two year extension of the fixed floor rate of the 9% low income housing tax credit (LIHTC). The rate would apply for allocations made prior to January 1, 2016. The minimum 9% credit floor, first enacted as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, expired on December 31, 2013. The Committee also approved an amendment, offered by Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), to establish a minimum 4% LIHTC rate for the affordable housing allocation activities before January 1, 2016. “[Senator] Cantwell won approval of an amendment that replaces the floating rate used by the program for acquiring and refurbishing existing property with a 4% fixed rate and was able to ensure continuation of the fixed 9% rate for new construction. Since the program was created in 1986, it has helped finance more than 2.4 million affordable apartments nationwide, including more than 56,000 in Washington, and has supported 95,000 jobs annually – many of which are in the small business sector,” Senator Cantwell’s office said in a statement.
A vote in the full Senate on the measure has not yet been scheduled. The House Committee on Ways and Means will hold a hearing on its extenders bill on April 8.