Policy

Policy Alert - We need your help to reinstate AFI IDA (Individual Development Account) Funding for FY 2018!

AFI logo

On May 1, 2017 Congress passed a budget that did not include funding for the Assets for Independence (AFI) Individual Development Account (IDA) program.  We need you to call your Congressmen (House and Senate) and ask them to reinstate AFI IDA finding for FY 2018.

SCACED's IDA program which matches low income individuals savings 3:1 towards the purchase of a home, start a small business or go back to school started in 2000.  


South Carolina IDA Program Impact:

  • 112 Homes Purchased
  • 100 Adults went back to School
  • 189 Businesses Created
  • More than $16 million in Economic Impact in SC

Here are two steps we’re asking you to take by Friday, June 30:

1. Call or email your members of Congress (House and Senate) and urge them to include Assets for Independence (AFI) funding in the FY18 budget. Click Here to Find Your Elected Officials.

2. When you speak with your Senators, also ask them to sign on to Senator Merkley’s “Dear Colleague” letter (attached) in support of AFI in the FY18 budget. Deadline is Friday, June 30 to sign on! This “Dear Colleague” letter of support will be one of the last opportunities to fight to get AFI back in the budget, so I hope you’ll take a few minutes to remind your Senators of the impact of this cut. 
 

SEN MERKLEY'S SIGN ON LETTER

Thank you for all you do for your community!

2017 VITA Awareness Day

The VITA Program

March 15, 2017, is VITA Awareness Day. Each year, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program puts billions of dollars back in the pockets of low-income taxpayers nationwide. In 2015, CFED launched their first-ever VITA Awareness Day to call attention to the importance of VITA programs in the communities they serve. CFED has engaged partners and advocates, like SCACED, across the country to help raise the profile of community tax preparation.

Below are some interesting data points that CFED has shared in regards to VITA programs in South Carolina. During the 2015 filing season alone, they:

  • Stimulated the local economy by helping taxpayers receive $39,589,030 in tax refunds – which will be recirculated in the state
  • Filed more than 39,288 federal tax returns and 39,685 state tax returns
  • Helped hard-working families file 8,842 Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) claims for a total of $12,030,053 – and in the process, given that the average EITC tax filer spends $400 on tax preparation, saved low-income EITC taxpayers approx. $3,536,800 that would have otherwise been spent on paid tax preparers
  • Helped 3,746 struggling families receive a total of $4,617,146 to offset childcare expenses and better support their children

The CFED believes that promoting community tax preparation is especially important in South Carolina since Senator Tim Scott sits on the Senate Finance committee that is instrumental to advancing federal VITA legislation. To support these efforts, you can contact Senator Scott and encourage him to co-sponsor S. 193, the VITA bill that would increase access to VITA services for low-income and under-served populations.

Community Development Tax Credit Bills Introduced

Community Development Tax Credit Bills introduced

The top priority of SCACED's 2017 Public Policy Agenda is to pass new community development tax credit legislation in South Carolina, so we are thrilled to announce that the bill has been introduced in each of the chambers. Senate Bill S.412 gives a 100% tax credit, and House Bill H.3842 has a tax credit of 33%. We ask that everyone take a moment to message Senator Paul Campbell and Representative Gary Simrill to thank them for their leadership in increasing economic development in our state.

For the past 23 years, SCACED has advocated for policies to advance the community economic development industry in South Carolina. Our landmark legislative success was the passage of the SC Community Economic Development Act. This law has set the stage for attracting capital to low-wealth communities and unleashing the innovation that exists in our communities.  We now seek to improve upon the SC CED Act with legislation that will expand and improve the SC Community Development Tax Credit.

The new legislation will increase the community development tax credit from 33% to 100%, increase the annual amount of tax credits from $1 million to $5 million and expand the eligibility of financial institutions to use the tax credits for targeted investments in low wealth communities. This means that an investment in a certified community development corporation (CDC) or community development financial institution (CDFI) will benefit the investor by allowing them a 100% credit against their state income, bank, corporate tax or premium tax liability. This is a powerful incentive to attract private capital into low-wealth communities through certified non-profits.

 Senate Bill S.412 will increase economic development by:

  • Increasing the tax credit from 33% to 100% creating an even greater incentive for private capital to flow into low-wealth communities.
  • Increasing the amount of credits available statewide from one million dollars annually to five million dollars annually.
  • Ensure the equitable distribution of tax credits by stipulating that a portion of the tax credits (25%) be available to small rural-based CDC’s during the first three quarters of each tax year.
  • Expanding eligibility to all banks and financial institutions that operate in SC rather than just those chartered here. This will improve the likelihood of investments in CDC’s and CDFI’s.

House Bill H.3842 will accomplish all of the above, with the exception of the tax credit remaining at 33%.

  • Additional Amendments: Unused tax credits will no longer be carried forward, so the program is capped at $5M per year. However, individual taxpayers will continue to be allowed to carry forward tax credits for up to ten years when those credits exceed the taxpayer’s tax liability for a given year.

House Bill H.3842 is currently in the SC House Ways and Means Committee.  Please contact your representative and ask them to sign on as a co-sponsor of the legislation.  You may find your representative by clicking here and entering in your zip code.  Additionally, please contact members of the SC House Ways and Means Committee and ask them to vote in favor of the H.3842. You can access information on members of the SC House Ways and Means Committee below by clicking the links below.

SC House Ways and Means Committee

White, W. Brian, Chairman

Simrill, J. Gary, 1st V.C.

Cobb-Hunter, Gilda, 2nd V.C.

Anthony, Michael A. "Mike"

Bales, Jimmy C., Ed.D.

Ballentine, Nathan

Clemmons, Alan D.

Clyburn, William "Bill"

Cole, J. Derham, Jr.

Erickson, Shannon S.

Finlay, Kirkman, III

Hayes, Jackie E. "Coach"

Herbkersman, William G. "Bill"

Hosey, Lonnie

Huggins, Chip

Loftis, Dwight A.

Lowe, Phillip D.

Merrill, James H.

Pitts, Michael A.

Smith, G. Murrell, Jr.

Smith, Garry R.

Sottile, F. Michael "Mike"

Stavrinakis, Leonidas E. "Leon"

Whitmire, William R. "Bill"

Senate Bill S.412 is currently in the SC Senate Finance Committee. You may find your senator by clicking here and entering in your zip code. You can access information on members of the SC Senate Finance Committee below by clicking the links below. Please contact members of the SC Senate Finance Committee and ask them to vote in favor of the S.412.

SC Senate Finance Committee Members

Leatherman, Hugh K., Sr., Chairman

Setzler, Nikki G.

Peeler, Harvey S., Jr.

Courson, John E.

Matthews, John W., Jr.

Reese, Glenn G.

Alexander, Thomas C.

Grooms, Lawrence K. "Larry"

Verdin, Daniel B. "Danny", III

Cromer, Ronnie W.

Jackson, Darrell

Williams, Kent M.

Campbell, Paul G., Jr.

Davis, Tom

Nicholson, Floyd

Sheheen, Vincent A.

Martin, Shane R.

Scott, John L., Jr.

Allen, Karl B.

Gregory, Chauncey K.

Bennett, Sean M.

Corbin, Thomas D. "Tom"

Hembree, Greg

2017 Legislative Luncheon Recap

More than 150 members and SC Legislators attended SCACED's Legislative Luncheon held on Wednesday, February 8th, in Columbia. During the event, SCACED unveiled a video illustrating the work of Community Economic Development in South Carolina and showcased the support for the SC Community Development Tax Credit (2017 Public Policy Agenda).

We are excited to share that we are already seeing progress just one week after our Legislative Luncheon. The Community Development Tax Credit legislation was sponsored and introduced by Senator Paul Campbell on February 14th. This legislation aims to increase the tax credits from 33% to 100% and raise the annual limit from $1 million to $5 million annually. View Bill #S.412.
 
Thank you to our network of supporters and please be on the lookout for SCACED Calls to Action regarding this bill. We now invite you to view the video that we unveiled as well as our event photo gallery...
 

SC Community Economic Development VIDEO

 

Legislative Luncheon Photo Gallery

America’s Rural Opportunity Series

SCACED's President and CEO, Bernie Mazyck, participated in a panel discussion at the Aspen Institute in Washington, DC, on February 10th. The event was a part of America’s Rural Opportunity, a six-part series of panel conversations that invites policymakers, economic and community development practitioners, and business and philanthropic leaders to engage in real dialogue around advancing a rural opportunity agenda.

This particular discussion was about how local innovation strengthens rural economies, and Bernie spoke about tax credits for rural investment through the South Carolina Community Development Tax Credit. The discussion was available via livestream, and we invite you watch the recording below. In addition, you can learn more at aspeninstitute.org/events/local-innovation-rural-economies.