The Treasury Department's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund has allocated more than $3.5 billion in tax credit awards for low-income urban and rural communities.

The fund's New Market Tax Credit awards will go to 76 organizations, the agency said in a press release Monday. The tax credits are aimed at promoting private sector investment, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said in the release.

"The tax credit allocation authorities... will go to community development organizations that will make much needed private sector investments in businesses and real estate projects located in the nation's distressed urban and rural communities," Lew added.

The organizations in this round were selected from 263 applicants who requested roughly $19.9 billion in aggregate tax credits. The organizations are located in 27 states and the District of Columbia.

Formed by Congress in 2000, the New Markets Tax Credit Program lets taxpayers receive credits to make equity investments in Community Development Entities that provide loans, investments or financial counseling to underprivileged communities.

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