May 05, 2004

Portland Community Development Projects to Receive Nearly $200 Million in Tax Credits

Washington, DC - Today, Senators Gordon Smith and Ron Wyden announced that three Portland community development programs have been awarded federal tax credits totaling almost $200 million to invest in Oregon's low-income communities under the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program. The awards will be announced officially tomorrow, May 6. "This is a great example of how private enterprise can be used in the public interest," Smith said. "These credits will make it possible to restore historic buildings, revive the economy, and rejuvenate distressed communities." "New Markets program tax credits will help bring new economic life and new investment to areas of Portland that are too often overlooked," said Wyden. "I was pleased to work on a bipartisan basis to secure these tax credits, and believe they will provide Oregon with the kind of economic boost that Congress and the president had in mind back in 2000 when we created the New Markets program." The Portland Development Commission will receive $100 million in tax credits to provide real estate loans for mixed-use developments, community facilities, housing and office buildings in extremely distressed areas in Portland. Likewise, the Historic Rehabilitation Fund, with an allocation of $24 million will provide loans to redevelop historic properties located in Portland. Priority will be given to projects that are likely to encourage further investment in adjacent areas. Finally, the Hospitality Fund will use $72.5 million of tax credits to rehabilitate a historic property in Portland's inner city to use as a hotel. This investment will lead to revitalization of the surrounding area, likely leading to the creation of thousands of jobs. The New Markets Tax Credit Program is administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury and promotes investment in low-income communities. Senators Smith and Wyden have actively supported Oregon's awardees throughout the application and award process which began in 2001.