City Council takes steps to tap federal tax credits

Harold Fisch

The plan proposed by The Economic Growth and Redevelopement Services Office would allow the city to access the New Markets Tax Credit Program, which channels billions of dollars in federal tax credits to economically distressed areas.

“The intention of this fund is to create jobs and increase wages in these economically-distressed areas,” said Andy Moore, a policy aide to Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez.

The area of East Riverside between Interstate Highway-35 and Airport Boulevard and parts of West Campus both meet the criteria to access resources from the fund, and the city will find out if the applications for the awarded tax credits are successful in January 2012. If accepted, the city will create a non-profit organization that will handle the investments of these tax credits. The economic growth office is handling the project.

“The [office] will develop a process for receiving community input on projects desired within the community,” said Rodney Gonzales, deputy director at the economic growth office, in an email. “Priority will be given to those areas that already have an established neighborhood or master plan so that all projects conform with what the neighborhood desires.”