A week after HUD Secretary Nominee Dr. Ben Carson gave resoundingly positive remarks on the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, Treasury Secretary Nominee Steve Mnuchin made tepid statements on the topic. Mnuchin’s nomination hearing was held on January 19 and during the more than five hours of questioning, both the Low Income Housing Tax Credit and New Markets Tax Credit managed to surface:
Senator Ron Wyden: “Are you committed to ensuring that the low-income housing tax credit program is maintained as a part of tax reform?”
Steve Mnuchin: “President Trump’s objective is to pass tax reform that grows the economy and benefits all Americans. If confirmed, I look forward to working with Congress on a review of the housing tax credit programs.”
A similar answer was received when Senator Maria Cantwell asked if Mnuchin considered the LIHTC a special interest deduction.
Senator Benjamin Cardin gave comprehensive praise to the Historic Tax Credit and New Markets Tax Credit and pointedly asked Mnuchin if he would “commit to retaining these important incentives in a Trump Administration tax reform package?”
Mnuchin answered, “If confirmed, I will work with you and other Members of Congress to ensure that the appropriate incentives are retained.”
Upon a question from Senator Cantwell regarding NMTC, Mnuchin answered, “if confirmed, I will work with your office to review the New Markets Tax Credit program.”
Mnuchin’s responses understandably left some uneasy. That said, these tax credit programs have enjoyed bi-partisan support over the years. The Senate Committee has yet to vote on Mnuchin’s confirmation. NH&RA and our industry partners have mobilized to continue to educate members of Congress and the Trump Administration on the critical importance of the LIHTC, NMTC, and Historic Tax Credit.