Spanning the Region

New Tax Credit Program Open to Tennessee Lenders

The state of Tennessee has developed a new program that offers flexibility to lenders seeking tax credits.

The Community Investment Tax Credit is an incentive that gives lenders tax credits for loans and grants to housing organizations involved in a variety of eligible activities. The loans and grants can support programs that create affordable housing, help Tennesseans obtain affordable housing mortgages or help nonprofit agencies finance affordable housing projects or affordable housing activities, such as certified home-buyer education services.

The program is administered by the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) and the Department of Revenue.

For more information about THDA or the tax credit program, call (615) 741-2400 or visit the THDA web site at www.state.tn.us/thda.

Missouri DNR Offers Environmental Assessments

Local governments and nonprofit organizations in Missouri considering the purchase of property that may have environmental problems can get help from the state.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources provides free environmental assessments performed by environmental engineering firms under a state contract. Applicants do not have to own the property or intend to purchase it.

Potential contaminants include lead-based paint, asbestos, petroleum and hazardous materials, such as chemicals, pesticides and herbicides.

For information, contact Christine O’Keefe at (573) 751-7538, christine.o’keefe@dnr.mo.gov; or Jim Gilstrap at (573) 522-8139, jim.gilstrap@dnr.mo.gov.

Identity Theft Victims Can Call Illinois Hotline

Identity theft victims in Illinois who are navigating their way through the credit repair process can call a new state hotline for help. The hotline number is 1-866-999-5630. Those who are hearing-impaired can call 1-877-844-5461 (TTY). Callers will receive one-on-one assistance, including advice on how to work with police and creditors.

For more information on the Illinois Identity Theft Hotline, visit the Illinois attorney general’s web site at www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers.

Arkansas Nonprofit Releases State Scorecard

The Southern Good Faith Fund recently released the Arkansas Assets and Opportunity Scorecard 2005. The report examines outcomes, measures and public policies associated with asset-building opportunities.

The Scorecard is organized into the categories of education, business development, home ownership and financial security.

The report makes specific recommendations for Arkansas policies affecting asset development. It includes a regional comparison of Arkansas’ outcomes and policies with six neighboring states: Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Missouri and Texas. In addition, Arkansas’ national ranking is listed for each of the categories highlighted in the report.

A complete listing of the data can be found at www.southerngoodfaithfund.org/pub/pub_policy.html. To obtain a copy of the report or to learn more about the recommendations, contact Matt Price at (501) 372-1141.

$300,000 in Tax Credits Awarded to St. Louis Program

Great Rivers Community Reinvestment, a subsidiary organization of the Justine Petersen Housing and Reinvestment Corp. in St. Louis, has received $300,000 in state tax credits from the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

The tax credits were issued through the state’s Family Development Account Program, a matched-savings program in which money leveraged by state tax credits is used to match money saved by individuals, up to a three-to-one match. The 50 percent state tax credits are expected to attract up to $600,000 in donations during a 12-month period.

Great Rivers Community Reinvestment plans to help hundreds of low-income individuals and families in the St. Louis area save money toward a home, home repairs, educational advancement or the operation of a small business. The organization will also offer economic education classes and help participants improve their credit scores.

Banks interested in purchasing the tax credits should contact Sheri Flanigan-Vazquez at Justine Petersen: (314) 664-5051, ext. 117, or sflanigan@justinepetersen.org.

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