There is one summary for H.R.815. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (02/24/1999)


Title I: Designation of and Tax Incentives for Renewal


Title II: Additional Provisions

American Community Renewal Act of 1999 - Title I: Designation of and Tax Incentives for Renewal Communities - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to authorize the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to designate (upon local or State nomination) up to 100 renewal communities, of which at least 20 percent shall be in rural areas.

Requires for nomination purposes that: (1) the area be experiencing high rates of poverty and unemployment and general distress; and (2) State and local governments enter into written contracts with community organizations to promote specified economic growth and employment activities.

Excludes from gross income capital gains on the sale or exchange of a qualified community asset (stock, business property, or partnership interest) held for more than five years.

Allows a specified deduction for amounts paid into a family development account on behalf of an individual or another qualified individual who is a renewal community resident. Excludes from gross income account distributions used for qualified family development expenses (postsecondary education, first-home purchase, business capitalization, medical, and rollovers). Provides a penalty (with exceptions) in addition to inclusion as gross income for nonqualifying distributions.

Provides for designation of up to five qualifying renewal communities as matching demonstration areas eligible to receive family development account matching contributions.

Authorizes: (1) designation of earned income tax credit payments for family development account deposit; (2) a commercial building revitalization tax credit; (3) increased first year expensing for renewal community businesses; (4) extension of environmental remediation cost expensing and the work opportunity credit for renewal communities; and (5) similar tax treatment of renewal communities and enterprise zones for specified youth residence requirements.

(Sec. 104) Permits a deduction for contributions to a family development account whether or not a taxpayer itemizes.

Makes conforming amendments to provisions respecting: (1) tax on excess contributions and prohibited transactions; (2) trust and annuity information; (3) tax exemption applications; and (4) the commercial revitalization credit.

(Sec. 105) Sets forth reporting requirements.

(Sec. 106) Directs the Director of the Office of Management and Budget not to make any estimates of changes in receipts under the pay-as-you-go estimate provisions of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 resulting from the enactment of this Act.

Title II: Additional Provisions - Provides for local government transfer of unoccupied and substandard Department of Housing and Urban Development multifamily and single family housing in renewal communities, with subsequent disposition priority to be given to community development corporations.

(202) Amends the Public Health Service Act to declare that the amendments made by this Act apply to each program that makes awards of Federal financial assistance to prevent or treat substance abuse.

Allows, notwithstanding any other provision of law, a religious organization to be an award recipient, make subawards, provide services through vouchers, or accept vouchers for providing services. Makes religious organizations eligible on the same basis as any other nonprofit private organization. Prohibits Federal or State: (1) discrimination against an organization on the basis that the organization has a religious character; and (2) requirements that a religious organization, in order to be a program participant, remove religious art, icons, scripture, or other symbols.

Requires a religious organization to arrange for services through an alternative entity if an individual objects to the religious organization. Allows a religious organization to require a beneficiary who has elected to receive services from the organization to actively participate in religious practice, worship, and instruction.

Prohibits using funds for sectarian worship or instruction, unless the beneficiary may choose where the assistance is redeemed or allocated.

Declares that assistance to or on behalf of a beneficiary is aid to the beneficiary and not to the organization. Requires, if a State law or constitution would prevent the expenditure of State or local funds by religious organizations, that the Federal funds shall be segregated from State or other public funds.

Requires, for personnel working in religious organization drug treatment programs, giving credit for religious education and training equivalent to credit given for secular course work. Mandates waiver of educational requirements if the religious organization has a record of successful drug treatment and the State or local government fails to demonstrate empirically that the educational qualifications are necessary.

(Sec. 203) Amends the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 to provide that a financial institution's investments in community development organizations located in renewal communities may be considered in evaluations under such Act.