Snowe Introduces Tax-Exempt SBIC Investment Bill

April 14, 2003 ( - Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) has introduced a bill to allow tax-exempt entities, such as pension funds and university endowment funds, to invest in Small Business Investment Companies (SBIC) without incurring unrelated business taxable income (UBTI).

>The Small Business Investment Company Capital Access Act of 2003 (S 855) was introduced April 10 and seeks to reverse the status of tax-exempt organizations’ investments.   Under the current law, nonprofit organizations cannot invest in debt-investment type SBICs without incurring tax liability, according to a news release.

“Passage of this bill will dramatically increase the amount of investment capital available to America’s Main Street – the sector that creates approximately two-thirds of net new jobs,” Snowe, chairperson of the Senate Small Business Committee, said in the release.  Further, Snowe, quoting the National Association of Small Business Investment Companies, said the bill could boost capital available for SBICs by $200 million in the first year.

SBICs are government-licensed, government-regulated, privately managed venture capital firms created to invest only in original issue debt or equity securities of US small businesses.   Senators Kit Bond (R-Missouri), the committee’s former chairman, and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Finance Committee are co-sponsors of the bill.