WASHINGTON, D.C. (LOOTPRESS) – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.)today joined a bipartisan group of her colleagues in introducing the Rural Jobs Act, legislation that would build on the success of the New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) by bringing hundreds of millions of dollars in private investment to some of the most disadvantaged rural communities in America.
“The New Markets Tax Credits program has played a vital role in helping economically distressed communities in West Virginia attract the private capital needed for economic development investments,” Senator Capito said. “The Rural Jobs Act expands upon this already powerful tool by ensuring these investments occur in the communities that need them the most. I’m proud to continue supporting this legislation that I know will go a long way in providing the boost these areas of West Virginia need.”
The Rural Jobs Act, authored by U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), would expand upon the NMTC program, which 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 bill would help close the job creation gap 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. Under this new definition, Rural Job Zones would be established in 342 out of the 435 congressional districts across the country.
It would also require that at least 25% of this new investment activity be targeted to persistent poverty counties and high migration counties. There are approximately 400 persistent poverty counties in the United States, 85% of which are located in non-metro or rural areas.
Read the full text of the Rural Jobs Act here.