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ICBA Promotes Economic Stimulus Recommendations

9-Point Plan Offers Quick Boost for Individuals, Small Businesses, and Housing Sector

Washington, D.C. (Jan. 18, 2008)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) respectfully offered a targeted list of recommendations to policymakers to consider as part of any national economic stimulus package. The proposals are carefully designed to quickly boost economic activity, jobs and the housing sector and to help community banks assist their customers, including thousands of small businesses.

"Community banks have their finger on the pulse of our local economies and know firsthand the financial and economic items that will work quickly," said James P. Ghiglieri, Jr., ICBA chairman and president of Alpha Financial Group, Inc., Toluca, Ill. "ICBA's nine-point plan will immediately free up resources and capital for individuals, small businesses and community banks so that we can play a robust part in the stimulus that keeps the national economy humming along."

"By quickly freeing up cash for individuals and small businesses, ICBA's targeted incentives will help boost jobs and get home sales moving again," said Paul Merski, ICBA chief economist and director of federal tax policy.

The nine ICBA recommendations are:

  • Enact a first-time home buyer tax credit;
  • Extend the work opportunity tax credit;
  • Expedite the Small Business Administration Business loan program;
  • Permit immediate alternative minimum tax relief with rebate to taxpayers;
  • Allow an immediate increase in the amount of municipal bonds issuance allowance to $30 million from $10 million;
  • Assist Subchapter S small businesses in raising needed capital by immediately increasing shareholder threshold to 150 from 100;
  • Boost small businesses' capital investing in equipment and software and free up needed cash flow by enhancing Section 179 small business expensing;
  • Increase the registration threshold to 1,000 shareholders from 500 before requiring smaller companies to register with Securities and Exchange Commission;
  • Permit highly rated, well-capitalized community banks with assets of $1 billion or less to file a short form Call Report in two out of four quarters to allow community lenders to focus time and resources on urgent community lending needs.

ICBA looks forward to working with Congress to quickly advance solutions that benefit the national economy and promote growth. Read a summary of ICBA recommendations. Read more about ICBA's nine-point plan at www.icba.org.