Background & History

Program Principle & Process

  • Principle: So every family & every community can participate in & benefit from our Commonwealth’s economy.
  • Process: Providing a 50% tax credit for donations to certified Community Development Corporations in Massachusetts. CLICK HERE to learn how the tax credit works for donors.


Program Background

The Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC) was signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick on August 6, 2012 as part of a larger economic development bill called An Act Relative to Infrastructure, Enhanced Competitiveness and Economic Growth in the Commonwealth.  It was originally sponsored by Representative Linda Dorcena Forry and Senator Sal DiDomenico.  It is designed to support high-impact community-led economic development initiatives through a strategic, market-based approach that leverages private contributions and builds strong local partnerships. 

According to the statute, the purpose of this program is "to enable local residents and stakeholders to work with and through community development corporations to partner with nonprofit, public and private entities to improve economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income households and other residents in urban, rural and suburban communities across the Commonwealth."  In other words, this program can be used to support a broad array of community development efforts as determined by the local community.

The bill works as follows:

  • State-certified CDCs (as defined in MGL Chapter 40H) will develop high quality and high impact, multi-year business plans for community improvement and economic development.
  • These plans will detail how local residents and businesses helped to craft the strategy, how it will improve the community and expand opportunity within a comprehensive framework, and how it will leverage federal and private resources.
  • The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, through the DHCD, will rank the plans to identify those most effective in meeting local and state-wide goals for community economic development. A percentage of the tax credits will be allocated for rural areas (20%) and Gateway Cities (30%.)
  • The strongest plans will be awarded up to $150,000 in state Community Investment Tax Credits per year for three years that the local CDC will use to attract up to $300,000 in private investment each year. The tax credits are equal to 50% of the donation made by corporate or individual taxpayer.
  • Donors will invest in the CDC’s business plan, thereby providing flexible working capital that can be used to seed new programs, fill funding gaps, leverage other resources and achieve maximum impact.
  • Oversight will be shared by the community-based boards of directors, DHCD and the private donors, with CDCs submitting annual progress reports to DHCD that would be available to the legislature and the public.
  • The Act will limit the tax credits and delay implementation so that the cost to the Commonwealth will be $3 million in 2014 and $6 million from 2015 thru 2019. The program sunsets on December 31, 2019.The program complies with the recommendations of the Tax Credit Expenditure Commission. It requires the Department of Revenue to review the tax credit before it takes effect in 2014; it has a hard sunset in 2019 and a fixed cap each year; and it has strong disclosure and reporting requirements. In short, CITC would be a model of transparency and accountability for a tax credit program.

CLICK HERE to go the Commonwealth of Massachusetts CITC webpage.

For more information on The Community Investment Tax Credit or MACDC's public policy work in general, please contact Joe Kriesberg at 617-426-0303 ext. 22 or joek@macdc.org.