Have You Heard

Tax Credit Available To First-Time Homebuyers

First-time homebuyers can receive up to $8,000 under the American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was signed into law on Feb. 17, 2009. This is a refundable tax credit, which means it can be claimed in excess of any federal income tax liability.

To be eligible for the tax credit, home buyers must have purchased the home as a primary residence between Jan. 1, 2009, and Nov. 30, 2009; must not have owned a home in the past three years; and must live in the home for at least three years. If they sell it before three years, they must repay the credit. The home can be a new or resale home, a co-op, condo or manufactured home.

The credit is 10 percent of the purchase price or up to $8,000.

Homebuyers can claim the credit on their 2008 tax return if they buy a home in 2009 by requesting an extension from the IRS or filing an amended 2008 tax return.

For more information, visit www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com.

Financing “Green” Projects Goal of National Initiative

The Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) has announced the formation of the new Sustainable Public Finance Coalition. This is a major national initiative focused on financing economic development that adheres to “green” principles and alternative energy.

The coalition also will offer industry leaders and innovators education, networking and research to promote these new practices.

The Sustainable Public Finance Coalition offers an open invitation to anyone actively engaged in financing green development, alternative energy and infrastructure in a sustainable manner.

For details, contact CDFA at 216-920-3073.

Loan Program Provides Money, Technical Assistance

ShoreBank, a community development financial institution, has developed a new loan product to help nonprofit organizations stabilize their finances.

The Capacity Plus Loan Program addresses problems caused by the uneven revenue streams nonprofits experience due to sporadic income sources, such as government contracts, grants and donations. The uncertainty of the funding stream is cause for alarm because many nonprofits lack the expertise or sufficient collateral to secure a loan during a long dry spell. Capacity Plus will help nonprofits strengthen collateral and gain the expertise they need to use credit as part of their financial management strategy.

The program gives charitable foundations an opportunity to provide cash security for bank loans to qualified nonprofit organizations through FDIC-insured CD deposits. Foundations may also elect to guarantee the loan without moving cash assets into a new deposit account at ShoreBank. As an additional bonus to foundations, the CD investment that secures loans to nonprofits may also qualify as a Program Related Investment.

Once nonprofit borrowers have cash security, they can partner with ShoreBank to take advantage of technical assistance programs that will help them build capacity, skills and expertise in cash management and financial and infrastructure development.

For more information, interested parties can contact the appropriate ShoreBank representative: Debbie Kobak, foundation market strategist, 773-420-5133 or Deborah_Kobak@SBK.com; or Joe Uttech, nonprofit market strategist, 773-420-5134 or Joseph_Uttech@SBK.com.

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