BU, Northeastern, and Wellesley Await Final Decision A high profile Massachusetts lawsuit regarding the denial of Brownfields Tax Credits has been wending its way through the legal system over the past year and now sits in the lap of an Appeals Court judge. Recent filings by the defendant Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) and the plaintiffs – three Boston-area colleges – set the stage for a dramatic verdict that is expected in the coming months. In 2012, Northeastern University, Boston University, and Wellesley College separately submitted applications to DOR seeking tax credits related to environmental cleanups completed at the respective
Challenging new projects. Creative yet practical solutions. Innovative ways to protect the planet – one property at a time. Catch up on the latest news from Cooperstown Environmental here.
The Boston Globe yesterday reported a lawsuit that has been filed by three Massachusetts colleges regarding Massachusetts Brownfields Tax Credits, the first public acknowledgement of a brouhaha that has been two years in the making. Wellesley College, Northeastern University, and Boston University have sued the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) for improperly denying applications filed by each school. The Globe’s news story was accurate but lacked the background and perspective needed to understand the full story. The facts of the case and the chronology of events may provide observers with a better understanding of the issues. The Brownfields Tax Credit
The Massachusetts Brownfields Tax Credit program is a proven, successful program that helps to offset environmental response costs for eligible projects. The program may be the best of its kind among the many states that offer a similar reimbursement plan, as it is a “by right” credit. If the project meets all of the qualification criteria, the credit is awarded. There is no annual cap statewide and no per project cap. Nor does the project need to be pre-qualified or certified by the state. In addition, the credit is transferable, so it may be sold, producing cash for the applicant.
Developers, not-for-profits, commercial property owners, and others conducting environmental remediation projects can rely on the state’s Brownfields tax credit – finally. The budget signed by the Governor Friday extends the credit for five years, quelling worries that the credit would expire at the end of this year. The program, which incentivizes commercial redevelopment in economically distressed areas (EDAs) by providing a rebate on environmental cleanups to Eligible Persons (who did not cause the contamination), has been a resounding success since it was initially passed in 1998. Hundreds of properties have been cleaned up to Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) standards,
A proposal by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) to modify its successful Brownfields Tax Credit program, and apply the changes to applications submitted as far back as a year ago, has similarities to a recent court ruling in New York. DOR in April proposed new rules affecting applicants for Massachusetts Brownfields Tax Credits. These credits allow eligible parties who remediate a Brownfield site in an economically distressed area (EDA) to recoup a portion of their cleanup costs via a tax credit if the project meets certain requirements. The proposed changes to the program tighten eligibility requirements with the goal