PORTLAND, Ore., November 21, 2016 — Ecotrust CDE, a subsidiary of Ecotrust, has received $75 million in federal New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation to support employment and investment in distressed rural communities throughout the Northwest. Ecotrust CDE will use the bulk of the federal financing to support rural businesses that are creating jobs in areas with high unemployment and that are advancing ecologically responsible land management, with a focus on the restoration of tribal lands and communities.
It is the sixth award of New Markets Tax Credits for Ecotrust since 2005, with the organization’s awards now totaling $277 million.
“The New Markets Tax Credit program is a powerful tool for economic development for communities in our region facing unemployment, lack of opportunity, and inadequate access to capital,” says Adam Lane, CFO/COO for Ecotrust. “We look forward to working with our tribal partners, and with rural communities, entrepreneurs, financing partners and local governments throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond to help launch businesses that create jobs, along with vital products and services.”
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund announced $7 billion in New Markets Tax Credit awards nationwide. Ecotrust was one of two Oregon-based organizations out of 120 awardees across the country to earn an allocation, and one of only 14 designees that will focus primarily on rural areas.
Ecotrust uses New Markets Tax Credits to build long-term community and environmental wealth in underserved rural communities, with targeted initiatives to support tribal communities, forestland restoration, and to create and strengthen local processing of food, fish, and fiber, and local energy production from waste materials. NMTC financing provides a significant tool for reinvesting in shuttered processing facilities, distribution and storage facilities for rural producers, and other essential infrastructure for rural and tribal communities.
Ecotrust CDE’s recent NMTC projects include:
In 2015, Ecotrust provided NMTC allocation to assist the Coquille Tribe in acquiring the 3,200-acre Sek-wet-se Forest, creating five permanent jobs in forest management for tribal members and an additional 39 estimated indirect jobs. Considered part of their ancestral homeland, this forestland in Curry County contributes to the Tribe’s long-term vision for economic self-sufficiency and cultural revitalization.
In 2014, NMTC allocations were directed towards the acquisition of 13,440 acres of forestland along Desolation Creek, a tributary of the North Fork of the John Day River in Northeastern Oregon, to be managed for timber, fish, livestock grazing, wildlife habitat, and recreation. The project includes a restoration agreement with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla, restoration activities with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, and has created seven permanent jobs as well as seasonal employment for local youth.
In July 2015, Ecotrust CDE joined three additional Community Development Entities (CDEs) to direct $20 million of investment in the expansion of a food processing facility in Malheur County. The plant had suffered the loss of 240 jobs in 2012, but the NMTC investment will bring more than 300 jobs in the economically distressed community of Ontario, Oregon, where unemployment is well above the state average and the federal poverty rate is 27 percent.
Ecotrust CDE has a robust pipeline of upcoming projects where it may direct this most recent allocation, including a Native-owned fish processing plant in Alaska; a bioenergy facility in Oregon that uses low-value wood from forest restoration projects; and the re-opening of a shuttered mill facility on tribal lands in eastern Washington.
The New Markets Tax Credit Program was established by Congress in December 2000 to help economically distressed communities attract private investment capital by providing investors with a federal tax credit. To find out more about the program and this year’s awards, visit the CDFI Fund website.
About Ecotrust CDE
Ecotrust CDE is a community development entity that directs New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) toward innovative initiatives across the Pacific Northwest that create economic, social and environmental benefits in rural and disadvantaged communities. Since 2005, Ecotrust CDE has received $277 million in NMTC allocations that have been used to finance projects seeking to build long-term community and environmental wealth, with special focus areas on supporting tribal communities, forestland restoration, and sustainable agriculture. Learn more at www.ecotrust.org
Ecotrust is powered by the vision of a world where people and nature thrive together. Since 1991, we have partnered with local communities from California to Alaska to build new ways of living and doing business. From forestry to finance, food access to green building, we work to advance social equity, economic opportunity, and environmental well-being. Together, we are making this place we live a home that we love. Learn more at www.ecotrust.org. Follow us @ecotrust