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Investable Tax Credits: The Case of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit

Author

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  • Desai, Mihir

    (Harvard U)

  • Dharmapala, Dhammika

    (U of Connecticut)

  • Singhal, Monica

    (Harvard U)

Abstract

The Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) represents a novel tax expenditure program that employs “investable” tax credits to spur production of low-income rental housing. While it has grown into the largest source of new affordable housing in the U.S. and its structure is now being replicated in other programs, the LIHTC has also drawn skepticism and calls for its repeal. This paper outlines a conceptual framework for exploring the conditions under which investable tax credits may be the most effective mechanism to deliver a production subsidy and discusses the desirability of employing investable tax credits in other policy domains. Estimates of tax expenditures under this program are provided and efficiency costs, distributional issues, and the likely effects of reforms to tax provisions such as the AMT are considered.

Suggested Citation

  • Desai, Mihir & Dharmapala, Dhammika & Singhal, Monica, 2008. "Investable Tax Credits: The Case of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit," Working Paper Series rwp08-035, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp08-035
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    Cited by:

    1. Carlson, Curtis & Metcalf, Gilbert E., 2008. "Energy Tax Incentives and the Alternative Minimum Tax," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 61(3), pages 477-491, September.

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