WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) introduced legislation to spur investment in communities facing significant economic challenges due to coal industry job losses. The Creating Opportunities for Rural Economies (CORE) Act encourages new development by setting aside a percentage of available New Markets Tax Credits for investments in underserved, low-income communities across the country.

“West Virginia and other states facing severe job losses in the coal industry are in dire need of new economic investment. By leveraging the power of the New Markets Tax Credit Program, the CORE Act presents a tremendous opportunity for underserved communities across the country to receive critical funding for projects that will help create new job opportunities, spur business investment, revitalize communities, and strengthen struggling economies,” said Senator Capito.

The New Markets Tax Credit Program was enacted in 2000 to spur investment in low-income regions. The program supports investment in projects such as mixed-use redevelopment projects, health care facilities, manufacturing facilities and direct investments in businesses. Investors receive a 39 percent tax credit over a seven year period in return for investing in these communities.

Over the next three years, $3.5 billion in New Markets Tax Credits will be allocated annually across the nation. The CORE Act sets aside 5 percent of the annual credit allocation for investments in 12 states that contain counties with significant coal job loss between 2012 and 2015 according to the Mine Safety & Health Administration. These states include Alabama, Colorado, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.

Since 2000 more than $40 billion worth of New Markets Tax Credits have been allocated across the nation, but underserved states like West Virginia have not seized the full potential of this program. West Virginia has benefitted from only 17 projects totaling $97 million in investments since 2000, far less than neighboring states. The CORE Act aims to increase the number of projects initiated in West Virginia and other underserved areas.

Click here to view a one-pager on the CORE Act.

Click here to view the bill text.