The Treasury Department is funneling new-markets tax credits into the Gulf Coast states hit by Hurricane Katrina."Katrina is a disaster on every level imaginable, and tools like new-markets tax credits will assist in the recovery efforts of New Orleans, Mobile [Ala.], and the rest of the region," Treasury Secretary John Snow said. The Treasury is considering applications for $3.5 billion in NMTCs and has extended the deadline for organizations that commit to target their investment activities to counties impacted by the hurricane. Treasury will also give "additional consideration" to applicants that target disaster areas, the department said. Meanwhile, 280 banks and thrifts will receive Community Reinvestment Act credit for investments and loans they make to help their communities recover from Hurricane Katrina. Recently approved regulatory changes that went into effect Sept. 1 provide CRA credit for assistance to disaster areas.

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