Early Returns: Tax Credit Bonds and School Construction.

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A small federal program piloting tax credit bonds to support school construction, the Qualified Zone Academy Bond (QZAB), has existed since 1997--providing evidence of how tax credit bonds could work. This paper analyzes the results of QZABs to date. The report concludes that, in the absence of more substantial federal assistance, QZABs play an important role in helping needy districts build and maintain school facilities, even though they are not the most effective long-term solution to the problem. The report recommends that the QZAB program, with some modifications, be continued while encouraging Congress to enact a more robust, durable school construction program focused on flexible and accessible initiatives. For example, state infrastructure banks, a promising remedy to the core problem of capital access for public schools, should be explored to replace current tax credit bond programs.
Mead, Sara
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