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ICBA Urges Immediate Targeted Action on Economy

Washington, D.C. (Jan. 22, 2008)—Camden Fine, president and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), issued the following statement requesting policymakers to complement monetary policy with a targeted fiscal policy economic stimulus that will help boost jobs and get home sales moving again.

"The Federal Reserve is aggressively using its monetary policy tool. Today's 75-basis-point rate cut calls attention to the immediate need for fiscal policy action to complement the Fed's actions. Quick passage of a targeted economic stimulus package can help spur economic activity, boost jobs, revive the housing sector, and help our nation's community banks boost their local economies by assisting their customers, including thousands of small businesses."

ICBA's nine point plan to stimulate the economy will immediately free up resources and capital for individuals, small businesses and community banks. Among our recommendations are:

  • Enact a $5,000 first-time home buyer tax credit;
  • Enhance the work opportunity tax credit;
  • Allow expedited Small Business Administration Business loan program;
  • Permit immediate alternative minimum tax relief and 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 limit to 150 from 100;
  • Boost small business capital investment 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."

View ICBA's nine-point plan at www.icba.org.