The Community Investment Tax Credit is working as intended and should be extended and expanded, according to the ten witnesses who testified before the Joint Committee on Revenue in the Massachusetts Legislature on May 9.
The hearing was a chance for CDCs, donors, MACDC, the United Way and LISC Boston to talk about how the program has helped to improve and expand economic opportunity for communities and families across the Commonwealth. Legislators are considering a bill sponsored by Senators DiDomenico and Forry and Rep. Kulik that would extend the CITC program from its current sunset in 2019 to 2025 and would incrementally raise the statewide cap for the program from $6 million to $12 million in 2023.
MACDC President Joseph Kriesberg began the hearing, which was chaired by Senator Michael Brady and Representative Jay Kaufman, by highlighting CITC’s impact on the field. He noted that the program has generated nearly $23 million in private philanthropy over the past three years, while attracting hundreds of new donors to the field. These resources have enabled CDCs to deepen their resident engagement, strengthen existing programs and launch new initiatives. In short, Kriesberg called the program a “game changer” for community development.
The Committee also heard from nine other witnesses, including:
- Gail Latimore, Executive Director, Codman Square NDC (Dorchester, MA)
- Pamela Feingold, Senior Vice President, Community Development Lending, Eastern Bank
- Sheila Cuddy, Executive Director, Quaboag Valley CDC (Ware, MA)
- Hon. Tracy Opalinski, President, Ware Business and Civic Association, and newly elected Selectperson from Ware, MA
- Colleen Loveless, President & CEO, Revitalize CDC (Springfield, MA)
- Annamarie K.H. Golden, Manager, Public Health & Community Relations, Baystate Health (Springfield)
- Kenneth P. Brier, Esq., Brier & Ganz LLP (Needham)
- Robert A. Fishman, Esq., Partner, Nutter, McClennen & Fish LLP (Boston)
- Bob Van Meter, Executive Director, Boston LISC
The Committee heard about how CITC is supporting an eco-innovation district in Dorchester, healthy housing in Springfield and workforce development in the Quaboag Valley region. The Committee heard from donors who are leveraging CITC to increase the power of their philanthropy and to forge new partnerships. Several speakers noted that the competition for the credits among both CDCs and donors was growing more intense and raising the statewide and organizational caps would enable the program to have more impact in more communities. The Joint Revenue Committee will be considering the bill in the coming weeks and determining whether to give it a favorable report. The Legislature has until July 31, 2018 to act on the legislation, although MACDC hopes to see the bill enacted by the end of this year.
To read testimony and review highlights in the proposed legislation, CLICK HERE.