Rep. Heck Introduces Bipartisan ADVANCE Act Supporting Native American Communities
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Denny Heck (WA-10) has introduced H.R. 3664, the Aiding Development of Vital Assets in Native Communities and Environments (ADVANCE) Act, in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The bill supports growth and development of Native American communities by strengthening the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program’s incentives for investments in Indian Country. The bill also directs the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, which administers the NMTC, to conduct proactive outreach and training to underserved communities, including Native American communities.
“Tax incentives should be a statement of our values,” said Heck. “The ADVANCE Act makes it clear that we value the growth and success of Native American communities. I want to see more investment in Indian Country. I want to make sure that organizations that are putting in the resources to build up and benefit Native American communities have every opportunity to earn a tax credit for that investment.”
“The NMTC's benefits have historically been out of reach for certain economically distressed communities, including tribal communities, who deserve the opportunity to benefit from the NMTC credit on an equal basis,” said Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-04), who sits on the House Ways and Means Committee and is cosponsoring the bill. “The ADVANCE Act will help expand access to NMTCs in Indian Country by establishing educational efforts that aim to demystify the unique requirements for structuring NMTC projects with tribes. It will also help address the disparity in NMTC allocation by specifically incentivizing investment in Indian Country and encouraging the allocation of the credit to developers committed to benefiting Indian Country.”
This year the CDFI Fund issued $3.5 billion in NMTC allocations to 73 Community Development Entities (CDEs) nationally. However, neither of the two CDE applicants whose primary mission is serving Indian Country received allocations, despite having been awarded allocations in previous years and having established track records of successfully financing NMTC projects. This represents an abrupt departure from the CDFI Fund’s prior practice and underscores the need for this legislation. The ADVANCE Act would ensure that CDEs serving Native American communities are given full consideration.
Additional original cosponsors of the bill are Reps. Tom Cole (OK-04), Suzan DelBene (WA-01), Deb Haaland (NM-01), Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Ron Kind (WI-03), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Dan Newhouse (WA-04), and Norma Torres (CA-35).
The ADVANCE Act is endorsed by both the National Congress of American Indians and the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians.