Accessing Government Capital
The capital needs for tribes are similar to other governments in the United States. However, tribal governments do not have equal access to the tax exempt market and have few options from the federal government that offer long term government funds for growth and development. NAFOA is setting out to increase allocations to programs that do work, such as the Indian Loan Guarantee Program. NAFOA is also advocating to make sure tribes can access all capital programs that hold great promise like the New market Tax Credit Program. During a Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hearing, NAFOA laid out a strategy for improving capital to Indian Country. Some points raised were:
- Creating parity between tribal governments and other governments when accessing the capital markets.
- Increasing funding and support for programs that are working, including the Indian Loan Guarantee Program at the Department of Interior and the Community Development Financial Institutions Program at the Department of Treasury.
- Demanding that existing federal programs that could work for tribes change their structure to include tribal governments and provide capital that is proportionate to the level of need.
- Clearing the way for tribes to effectively participate in the multi-billion dollar tax credit markets for housing and development.
- Creating incentives for banks to lend to emerging tribal communities either directly or through partnerships.
NAFOA's Testimony at the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Oversight Hearing on Access to Capital