Norton Files Amendment to Republican Tax Bill to Make D.C. Eligible for Another Program to Expand Investment in Low-Income D.C. Neighborhoods
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today filed an amendment to a large tax package that would provide federal tax incentives for investment in low-income District of Columbia neighborhoods. Norton’s amendment would make the District of Columbia eligible for the Empowerment Zone program. Her amendment would allow certain low-income neighborhoods in D.C., including parts of Wards 5, 7 and 8, to be designated Empowerment Zones, which would give federal tax incentives, not now available, to businesses that locate and create jobs there. Norton got similar federal tax incentives for investment in D.C. included in a 1997 tax bill, which helped to revitalize the District’s economy and many D.C. neighborhoods. These incentives expired in 2011. The Empowerment Zone program includes a 20-percent wage credit for each employee who lives and works in the Empowerment Zone, up to a maximum of $3,000 per employee; expanded tax exempt bond financing; increased expensing; and special treatment of certain capital gains. Norton introduced her amendment as a standalone bill last year.
Although Norton opposes the Republican tax package, she is fighting to ensure that D.C. would benefit from changes to the tax code. Last year, Norton got the District included in a new tax incentive program, the Opportunity Zone program, which was created by last year’s Republican tax bill and provides tax incentives for investment in certain low-income communities. The Empowerment Zone and Opportunity Zone programs provide different types of tax incentives. Norton filed her new amendment with the House Rules Committee, which will consider amendments to the bill (H.R. 88) on Wednesday, November 28, 2018, at 3:00 p.m. The bill is expected to be on the House floor this week.
“While I oppose the Republican tax package up for consideration, I will always fight to secure economic benefits for the District, as when we succeeded in ensuring D.C. was covered by a provision in last year’s Republican tax law that aimed to help low-income communities,” Norton said. “Providing incentives for investment in low-income areas, such as parts of Wards 5, 7 and 8, is crucial to creating jobs and economic development in D.C. neighborhoods that need them most.”