WASHINGTON (1/2/08)—The Treasury Dept. has kicked off its sixth round of competition for Its New Market Tax Credits (NMTC) program, making $3.5 billion of equity investments available to qualified credit unions and other applicants. The NMTC program is administered by Treasury Department's Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. The program attracts private-sector capital investment into the nation's urban and rural low-income areas to help finance community development projects, stimulate economic growth and create jobs. The NMTC allows individual and corporate taxpayers to receive a credit against federal income taxes for making qualified equity investments in investment vehicles known as Community Development Entities (CDEs). The CDFI reports that the program to date has made 294 awards equaling a total $16 billion in allocation authority. According to a Federal Register document submitted by the Treasury, parties interested in applying under the NMTC program that are not yet CDE designated must apply for certification by Feb. 6. While credit unions are eligible for CDE designation, to date many have found a costly application process and other factors have kept them out of the competition for the credits. Applications for tax-credit allocations must be submitted electronically by March 8. Use the resource link below for more NMTC information.