Brownfield Tax Credit Extended to 2023
Developers, not-for-profits, commercial property owners, and others conducting environmental remediation projects in Massachusetts can again rely on the state’s Brownfields tax credit. On May 31, 2018, the Housing Bond Bill (H.4536) was signed into law by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker. Included in this bond bill was legislation, sponsored by Senator Michael Rodrigues, which extended the Massachusetts Brownfields Tax Credit for five additional years, quelling worries that the credit would expire at the end of 2018.
The Brownfield Tax Credit Program incentivizes commercial redevelopment in economically distressed areas (EDAs) by effectively providing a rebate on environmental cleanup costs to “Eligible Persons” who did not cause the contamination. The program 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, spurring thousands of new jobs and millions of dollars of new tax revenue.
One of the few criticisms of the program over the years has been the fact that its very existence seems perpetually to be in doubt. The program, which was originally passed in 1998, has been extended many times: 2000, 2003, 2006, 2010 and 2013, each time offering a reprieve. After multiple years of three-year extensions and a first time 5-year extension in 2013, this year’s 5-year extension offers additional certainty to developers as they can begin projects knowing that the credit will be available when the project ends. The most recent extension means cleanups must begin by August 5, 2023 and applies to the costs incurred through December 31, 2023.
Cooperstown Environmental LLC President James T. Curtis, P.E., LSP, an acknowledged authority on the Brownfields Tax Credit program, stated, “We are proud to have helped extend this incredibly valuable program along with NAIOP, CHAPA, and others, all of whom came together to inform the state legislators of how vital the support is to spur and incentive commercial development not only in Greater Boston but across the state. Cooperstown expects to remain at the forefront of this specialized niche and continue to assist our clients in recovering and monetizing the credits.”