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URA receives $20 million in new market tax credits, big boost to economic development

The Urban Redevelopment Authority has been awarded $20 million in New Market Tax Credits (NMTC) by the U.S. Treasury Department.  The tax credit program aims to aid economic development, community revitalization, and job creation, by stimulating private investment in low-income communities.

Previous tax credit programs in Pittsburgh have helped to finance several prominent developments, including Bakery Square, Target, and Market Square Place.  And more than 2,500 full- and part-time jobs have been created through URA projects funded with NMTC.

Robert Rubinstein, the URA’s director of economic development, says projects like these often won't happen without those tax credits, which enable developers to close critical financing gaps in their respective projects.

Rubinstein says this current allocation is important because all of the funds will stay in Pittsburgh, and will help finance local projects.

Pittsburgh Urban Initiatives LLC (PUI), a URA-sponsored community development entity, decides which projects receive NMTC funding, based on a strict set of criteria.

Last year, the URA was allocated $35 million in NMTC, part of which were deployed in the 201 Stanwix Street project, a conversion of the former Downtown Verizon building into a charter school and apartments.  

In East Liberty, the East End Cooperative Ministries is expected to receive $15 million in credits for their proposed Community House development.

Rubinstein says NMTC has proven to be an important tool for the URA to advance community development projects throughout the city, and credits Mayor Ravenstahl, Senator Casey, and the congressional delegation for bringing these funds to Pittsburgh.

“It’s great that we've been able to receive a direct allocation ourselves, that allow us more control over helping to advance projects,” he says.  “In these times of declining local resources, declining state resources, we're fortunate we have the leadership that's helped us bring in these federal resources to help keep the momentum going here.”


Writer: Andrew Moore
Source:  Robert Rubinstein
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