Craft3 gets $50 million for projects in low-income areas

By: Matthew Kish - May 29, 2019
Source: Portland Business Journal

The nonprofit lender Craft3 has received $50 million in federal New Market Tax Credits to help fund community and economic development projects in low-income census tracts.

The tax credits will be used to fund projects throughout Craft3's footprint in Oregon and Washington, including rural and urban areas. Tribal communities are also expected to benefit.

The New Market Tax Credits program was created in 2000. It's designed to attract private investment to low-income communities, based on census tract data. Investors get a tax credit equal to 39 percent of the investment, spread out over seven years.

Portland-based Craft3 CEO Adam Zimmerman said the goal is to identify projects that will have a "ripple effect."

"Craft3 was created on the premise that capital is the key to unlocking opportunity," Zimmer said in a news release. "This award will allow us to invest in catalytic projects that create jobs, revitalize rural areas and build a stronger regional economy."

This is the fourth time Craft3 has received New Market Tax Credits and an endorsement of the lender's recent work by the U.S. Treasury, which allocates the credits.

Craft3 also received tax credits in 2003, 2006 and 2009. To date, it's now received $133 million in allocations.

The nonprofit lender has used past tax credits for a variety of projects, including new construction at Clatsop Community College, a wind farm in Grayland, Wash., and a child and family resource center on the Oregon coast.

"Without Craft3's New Markets Tax Credit investment in Clatsop Community College, we simply couldn't have completed the Columbia Hall construction or Towler Hall renovation," said Clatsop Community College President Chris Breitmeyer in a news release. "These two buildings form the core of our academic spaces ... and are used by thousands of students and community members to grow, learn and succeed."

The New Markets Tax Credit program is set to expire at the end of 2019, but bipartisan legislation to continue the program has been introduced.