FIRE gets $45 million in New Markets Tax Credits

Wisconsin organizations to receive $155 million

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Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 05:00 pm

Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund announced $7 billion in New Markets Tax Credits Thursday to 120 organizations nationwide.

This is the largest single award round since the program was created in 2001 to assist communities in building community facilities, build safe and affordable homes and invest in local jobs.

Wisconsin received $155 million in tax credits, including $45 million to the First-Ring Industrial Redevelopment Enterprise, Inc. or FIRE.  In 2007, West Allis created FIRE as a community development entity formed to issue tax credits to help finance developments in low-income areas throughout southeastern Wisconsin.

To date, FIRE has received more than $145 million in New Market Tax Credits from the U.S. Department of the Treasury since its inception.

Madison-based organizations Greater Wisconsin Opportunities Fund, Inc. and Forward Community Investments, Inc., received $75 million and $35 million, respectively in tax credits. The Greater Wisconsin Opportunities Fund Inc. is the community development entity of the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA).

“The CDFI Fund programs, including the New Markets Tax Credit, address the needs and concerns of working Americans and help build an economy that delivers results that they can see,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said in a written statement. “By attracting private business and development to distressed communities, this tax credit spurs economic growth, creates jobs, and brings new services and opportunities where they are most needed.”

The 120 organizations awarded are located in 36 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

It is estimated that more than $1.4 billion in New Markets Tax Credit investments will be made in non-metropolitan counties. The number of minority-owned or controlled organizations receiving awards also nearly tripled from the previous award round.

Thursday’s awards bring the total amount awarded through the New Markets Tax Credit Program to $50.5 billion.

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