BY KATE KALMYKOV
IMPLAN has developed I-RIMS products to serve as an alternative to the Bureau of Economic Analysis’s (“BEA”) RIMS II economic model. There is increasing concern among EB-5 professionals regarding the long term viability of RIMS II, given its discontinuation. The BEA will accept orders for RIMS II multipliers through January 15, 2014, when the recent continuing resolution funding the U.S. government ends. The spending cuts commonly known as “sequestration,” if allowed to take effect, will end the RIMS II program. However the President’s proposed budget, if passed, would restore funding.
IMPLAN’s new I-RIMS products are designed as replacements for RIMS II. In this regard, I-RIMS use the same procedures as RIMS II. Specifically, the I-RIMS direct-effect multipliers follow the same definition as the RIMS II direct-effect multipliers. I-RIMS multipliers are available by either region or industry. The regional multipliers can be defined at the county, metropolitan-statistical area, or state level.
The news of the I-RIMS products may provide a welcome addition to the economic tools used by EB-5 economists, though some have expressed their concerns at the price tag for the new multipliers. The uncertainty regarding the future of the RIMS II program has left many projects contemplating the rejection of RIMS II in favor of alternative tools, such as the REDYN model. It seems increasingly unlikely the President’s budget will be passed and another government shutdown will cause, at the least, a temporary shutdown of the BEA. For EB-5 projects that have already designated RIMS II as their economic tool, the May 30th USCIS EB-5 memorandum specified amendments no longer need to be filed in cases where an EB-5 regional center changes its economic methodology from project to project.