Rep. James Gerlach (R-Pa.) has introduced legislation to extend the New Markets Tax Credit program through 2016.

H.R. 2655 has been referred to the Committee on Ways and Means. Co-sponsors include Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), John Lewis (D-Ga.), Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), Richard Neal (D-Mass.), Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), and Patrick Tiberi (R-Ohio).

The legislation seeks $5 billion for each year through 2016.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) has introduced companion bill, S-996, in the Senate.

The New Markets Tax Credit Extension Act of 2011 would extend the program for five years with $5 billion in annual credit allocations.

It would also provide investors with an exemption from the alternative minimum tax.