CDC Tax Credit Expansion Bill Clears Council Finance Committee

A bill to expand the CDC Tax Credit Program by another 10 slots unanimously passed City Council’s Finance Committee on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. Sponsored by Councilman Bobby Henon, the bill would strengthen the organizational capacity of CDCs to engage in neighborhood economic development work by providing $100,000 per year for 10-years for qualifying CDCs. You can read the testimony of PACDC’s Policy Director, Beth McConnell, here. The bill could be voted on by the full Council as early as Thursday, June 7th, 2018.

Philadelphia has a strong CDC industry because of this program, created by former Councilman Wilson Goode Jr. in 2002. It provides up to $100,000 per year for 10 years to qualifying CDCs and intermediaries through a partnership with up to 2 businesses that have that amount of tax liability owed to the City each year. The businesses make the contribution to the CDC then take a tax credit for the same amount against their business taxes. CDCs use these funds to hire the staff, cover the overhead, and other expenses to support economic development. This program is used to support commercial corridor work, job training programs, financial self sufficiency programs, and a range of other activities that strengthen our neighborhood economies and CDC organizational capacity.

The bill now heads to the Council floor, and could be passed as early as Thursday, June 7th. Thanks to Councilman Henon for introducing the bill, and to Finance Committee members Cindy Bass, Cherelle Parker, Allan Domb, David Oh, Mark Squilla, Blondell Reynolds-Brown, and Bill Greenlee for their support (and get well soon Finance Committee Chair Jannie Blackwell!).

PACDC worked with our members looking to get in the program, and a few who already benefit from it, to testify in Council today. Stephanie Michel of the North 5th Street Revitalization Project (testimony) is hoping to get into the CDC Tax Credit Program if the slots are expanded and testified: “The largest investment in economic development is time and consistency…Our neighborhood plan to revitalize North 5th includes a timeline over the span of 10 years…it takes years to get everyone to know and understand the plan, to know their role in implementing… and lastly to execute.”

Beth Miller of the Community Design Collaborative testified about how they’ve used their slot in the program to leverage other resources: “Since 2012, through the tax credit program alone, we have delivered 32 Design Grants that have leveraged nearly 12,000 pro bono hours with a value of $1.25 million in pro bono design services.”

Also testifying was Alex Balloon of the Tacony CDC (testimony) on how every $1 they use from the CDC Tax Credit Program leverages another $18 in private investment on Torresdale Ave. Mike Harris of South Street Headhouse District (testimony), Musa Trawally of ACANA (testimony), and Bryan Fenstermaker of Passyunk Ave Revitalization Corp. (testimony), and Andrew Trackman of Germantown United (testimony) also testified to how their work could be elevated and expanded if CDC Tax Credit slots were available to them.