Food Safety, New Markets Tax Credit both passed U.S. Legislature

Two pieces of legislation that could significantly impact rural areas have been passed this week.  On Tuesday, the United States House of Representatives voted to pass S. 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act.  The House had passed the bill earlier in the year, but the Senate made significant changes to it, including adding several amendments, and sent it back to the House.  For more details about the bill, including potential impacts on producers, as written by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, click here.

Also, President Obama extended the New Markets Tax Credit program on Friday.  This program allows taxpayers to receive a tax credit for making qualified equity investments in designated Community Development Entities (CDEs). Over a seven-year period the investor receives 5% credit for the first three years and 6% credit the final 4 years totaling 39% of the cost of the investment.

Organizations can apply to be qualified as CDEs if they serve low-income people or communities, maintain accountability to residents of low-income communities through representation on a governing board of or advisory board to the entity, and are a corporation or partnership at the time of application. An interactive map of NMTC qualified census tracts can be found here.