U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has called for the elimination of the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program in a sweeping deficit-cutting plan.
Ending the tax credit program would save at least $57 billion over the next 10 years, according to Coburn in his 620-page “Back in Black” report, his proposal to slash the deficit by $9 trillion over the next 10 years.
Coburn also calls for ending the New Markets, renewable energy, and historic tax credit programs.
The move to eliminate LIHTCs has already drawn a sharp response from the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition.
“Not only has the LIHTC program been highly successful in fulfilling its goal of providing high-quality affordable rental housing to millions of Americans, it is a proven job producer,” said the Coalition in a statement released Thursday.
The repeal of the LIHTC “would eliminate the most important and successful program for critically needed affordable rental housing, thus depriving millions of low-income families and seniors of a decent place to live and killing thousands of well-paying jobs at a time of severe unemployment,” said the Coalition.
The group said Coburn’s reasons for eliminating the program are based on faulty reasoning, relying on criticisms from a Missouri state audit of the state tax credit program and a 20-year-old study of the program.
His proposal comes out as Democrats and Republicans have been battling over raising the debt ceiling and a plan to reduce the federal deficit.
The LIHTC program helps generate about 120,000 affordable homes each year.
In a section on the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Coburn also calls for the elimination of the HOME program, which has been under fire since a Washington Post investigative series in May charged that hundreds of millions of dollars had been squandered under the program.
Coburn was elected to the Senate in 2004. Prior to that, he served in the House of Representatives after being first elected in 1994. “Back in Black” can be found at http://coburn.senate.gov.
The Coalition’s response can be found at http://taxcreditcoalition.org.