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Colleges Sue over Denial of MA Brownfields Tax Credits – The Whole Story

In 2014, three Massachusetts colleges (Wellesley College, Northeastern University, and Boston University) sued the state’s Department of Revenue (DOR) after the agency denied applications for Brownfields Tax Credits from the schools. The legal process unfolded over almost four years with the colleges ultimately prevailing. Cooperstown Environmental was involved prior to and throughout the process on behalf of one of the plaintiffs and documented the case through a series of posts, which are gathered here for historical background.

  1. Our initial article from September 2014 describes the basic issues and summarizes much of the background information upon the filing of the suit:  

Colleges Sue over Denial of Brownfields Tax Credits – The Rest of the Story

  • Our summary of the DOR’s position and its similarity to Richard Nixon’s famous declaration was posted just prior to the hearing on the case:

MassDOR Channels Nixon in Brownfields Tax Credit Court Case vs. Colleges

  • The Superior Court found in the colleges’ favor and included some scathing language in its decision:

Judge Finds MassDOR Decision “Unlawful” in Denying Brownfields Tax Credits to Colleges

  • Following the appeal of the Superior Court’s decision, Cooperstown summarized the site status while awaiting the determination of the Appellate Court:

Massachusetts Appeals Court Deciding Fate of Colleges’ Brownfields Tax Credit Case

  • In 2018, the Appellate Court also sided with the colleges and after the Supreme Judicial Court declined to take up the case, the suit was resolved.

Courts Side with Colleges in Case Over Denied Brownfields Tax Credits