Signs of support, room for improvement: Extending the NMTC

Amid the ongoing battles between the White House and Capitol Hill, it’s sometimes difficult to know what to make of a presidential budget. Some people will dismiss the document out of hand as politically impossible. Others will imagine the plucky little bill from “Schoolhouse Rock!” making its journey from the president’s pen, down Pennsylvania Avenue to passage and back to his desk for signature. The truth lies somewhere in the gray area in-between.

The president’s budget calls for a number of programs and investments that would yield positive benefits for Indian Country. One of the most interesting is a call to make the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program permanent. While this is not likely to translate into a “permanence bill” anytime soon, it is a very good sign.

The fact that this program is on the list of the administration’s priority investments comes on the heels of a the five-year extension the NMTC Coalition accomplished — with your help and support — last year. A multiyear extension and high-profile inclusion in the president’s budgets are signs our program is strong. But the only way to remain strong is to engage in continuous efforts to improve the NMTC.

One way to improve the NMTC is to increase the amount of NMTC capital flowing to Indian Country. Travois regularly engages with the National American Indian Housing Council, the Native American Finance Officers Association, the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development and other groups on federal policy. We are a resource to these groups as they build coalitions and fight for housing and economic development progress across Native America.

But we also want to be a resource to your tribe. If you are engaged in setting priorities for how your tribe lobbies Congress or communicates with your representatives, get in touch with us. We want to continually put forward ideas that increase the flow of NMTC capital to Indian Country.

This increase would ultimately make the NMTC program more effective. The more effective this program is, the more likely we are to achieve our eventual goal of making it permanent.