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Amending Internal Revenue Code Of 1986 Based On 2000 Census Data

Rep. Louise M. Slaughter

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Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of expanding the areas of Renewal Communities, RC, based on the most recent census information. This is an issue of great importance to Western New York, since Rochester, Buffalo, and Niagara Falls are each designated as Renewal Communities. The RC Initiative combines tax credits and other provisions designed to revive some of the nation's more impoverished, distressed areas. These cities can take advantage of federal wage credits, tax deductions, capital gains exclusions, and bond financing to stimulate economic development and job growth. Each incentive is tailored to meet the particular needs of a business and offers a significant inducement for companies to locate and hire additional workers.

Rochester needs these incentives to expand jobs and promote business investment in our downtown area. The statistics from my district paint the bleak picture. In the past year, we lost 12,400 jobs, including 300 from Global Crossing; the jobless rate is at an 18-year high; and in the last decade, 41 percent of Rochester citizens between the ages of 20 to 34 have left town.

I am a cosponsor of H.R. 3100, which would allow the areas designated as renewal communities to be updated based on 2000 census data, instead of 1990 census data. Due to a loss of population in the 1990s, my area would greatly benefit from this change. According to Fannie Mae, this technical change would allow 14 more census tracts to qualify in Rochester, 16 more tracts in Buffalo-Lackawanna, and seven additional census tracts in Niagara Falls.

Now that the House of Representatives has passed this legislation, I urge the Senate to quickly add its voice of approval before we adjourn for the year.