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Rep. Smith Introduces Bill to Fight Rural Poverty, Create Jobs

WASHINGTON – Congressman Jason Smith (MO-08) introduced H.R. 6627, the Rural Jobs Act, which would enhance the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) to spur more investments in rural areas with persistent poverty levels.

“The New Markets provision of the tax code has helped drive billions in investments to distressed communities across the U.S., including in southern Missouri,” said Congressman Smith. “The program has been a success as every one dollar spent has spurred eight dollars of investment, helping businesses grow and creating jobs in the process. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act preserved this important program, and I have introduced the Rural Jobs Act with my colleagues on the Ways and Means Committee who represent rural and agricultural communities to make sure New Markets resources flow to rural areas in our country.”

The Rural Jobs Act would bring new resources to rural economies facing unique obstacles to revitalization including a lack of economic diversity and investors, limited availability of credit, the seasonal nature of employment, and geographic isolation.

By providing a modest tax incentive to private investors, the NMTC has helped hundreds of towns and cities by increasing the flow of capital to businesses and low-income communities. Since the New Markets Tax Credit was established in 2000, nearly 1,000 NMTC projects have increased healthcare access through new hospitals and health clinics, boosted manufacturing activity at new or expanded industrial facilities, and improved education by building new schools.

However, fewer than one in four NMTC projects have been in rural communities. Congressman Smith’s bill requires more NMTC allocations to be directed to rural communities and counties with persistent poverty and high outward migration rates.

This is the latest initiative by Congressman Smith to fight poverty and bring physical and economic investments to southern Missouri.

He is an original author of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which reduced tax rates for people of all income levels and allows businesses to fully expense investments made within their companies.

Earlier this year, Congressman Smith was instrumental in securing the future interstate designation for I-57, a major transportation project in southeast and south central Missouri which will lead to an increase in economic development and market access.