Download this document in MS Word format


AutoFill Template

H.690

Introduced by   Representatives Clarkson of Woodstock, Haas of Rochester, Barnard of Richmond, Bohi of Hartford, Botzow of Pownal, Chen of Mendon, Deen of Westminster, Edwards of Brattleboro, Evans of Essex, Frank of Underhill, French of Randolph, Head of S. Burlington, Hosford of Waitsfield, Howard of Rutland City, Hutchinson of Randolph, Jerman of Essex, Jewett of Ripton, Johnson of South Hero, Kainen of Hartford, Kennedy of Chelsea, Kiss of Burlington, Kitzmiller of Montpelier, Koch of Barre Town, Leriche of Hardwick, Maier of Middlebury, Martin of Springfield, Martin of Wolcott, Masland of Thetford, McCullough of Williston, McLaughlin of Royalton, Milkey of Brattleboro, Nuovo of Middlebury, Pellett of Chester, Pugh of S. Burlington, Randall of Troy, Reese of Pomfret, Shand of Weathersfield, Sweaney of Windsor and Trombley of Grand Isle

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Creative economy; identification; promotion

Statement of purpose:  This bill would identify and document the creative sector of Vermont’s economy, the “creative economy,” and provide for its promotion and advancement.  The bill would:

(1)  Identify and document the roles that creativity, culture, and innovation play in Vermont’s economy by tracking and reporting this economic sector.

(2)  Target existing and develop new incentives for the creative economy in Vermont’s economic development programs.

(3)  Coordinate and assist state, regional, and local governmental agencies in promoting the growth of creative enterprises by unifying promotion, enhancing the Vermont brand, producing celebratory events, building a Vermont artists and artisans market identity, and providing technical support and access to capital for culturally based businesses and creative entrepreneurs.

(4)  Make cultural and heritage institutions priority community investments in historic downtown and village centers and increase the annual cap on tax credits for historic rehabilitation in downtown and village centers.

AN ACT RELATING TO THE IDENTIFICATION,  DOCUMENTATION, AND ADVANCEMENT OF THE CREATIVE SECTOR OF THE STATE’S ECONOMY

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:


Sec. 1.  Legislative Findings and Intent

(a)  The general assembly finds that the heritage, art, culture, innovation, and inventiveness of the people of Vermont are central to the fabric of each Vermont community, and that collectively they form the “creative economy” of the state, an economic sector that inspires innovation, creates jobs, and produces revenue throughout the state.

(b)  It is therefore the intent of the general assembly, by this act, to identify, document, and promote Vermont’s creative economy in order to engage and build the capacity of its cultural resources to reenergize communities, revitalize downtowns, and reactivate economic development that builds on heritage, preservation, creativity, innovation, and the entrepreneurial spirit.

* * * Identifying and Documenting the Creative Sector * * *

Sec. 2.  IDENTIFICATION AND DOCUMENTATION OF THE CREATIVE

             ECONOMY SECTOR

(a)  The legislative joint fiscal office shall undertake or contract for an analysis of the creative economy’s impact in Vermont.  The analysis shall include:

(1)  An analytical working definition of the creative economy in the state, identifying and aggregating the creative, artistic, inventive, and cultural enterprises comprising that sector of the state’s economy.

(2)  A methodology or model for tracking all indicators of economic benefits, costs, and contributions to the state from the creative economy sector.

(3)  A cost‑benefit analysis of the state’s creative economy sector.

(b)  The amount of $25,000.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the joint fiscal committee in fiscal year 2006 for contracts for consulting services and other expenditures incurred in performing the directives of this section.  Any funds appropriated by this section not utilized in fiscal year 2006 shall not revert but shall carry over for use by the joint fiscal committee for this purpose in fiscal year 2007.

* * * Technical Assistance and Outreach to Creative Enterprises * * *

Sec. 3.  24 V.S.A. § 2781(1) is amended to read:

(1)  “Regional development corporation” means a nonprofit corporation organized in this state whose principal purpose is to promote, organize, or accomplish economic development, including providing planning and resource development services to local communities, supporting existing industry, assisting the growth and development of new and existing small businesses, assisting the advancement and promotion of the creative sector of the state’s economy, including artists, artisans, inventors, entrepreneurs, and innovators who may be self-employed or operators of small business, and attracting industry or commerce to a particular economic region of the state;


Sec. 4.  24 V.S.A. § 2787 is added to read:

§ 2787.  TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND OUTREACH TO THE

              CREATIVE ECONOMY

(a)  The regional development corporation organized in each region shall serve as a one-stop source of technical assistance and outreach to the creative economy sector of the region, including artists, artisans, inventors, entrepreneurs, and innovators who may be self-employed or operators of small business.  The corporation shall provide or coordinate technical assistance and advice on programs and support for small creative enterprises.  The corporation shall also take steps to increase public awareness and inform potential and current participants in creative enterprises of the assistance, support, and programs available.

(b)  The technical assistance shall include, but not be limited to:

(1)  Providing sources and identification of tax and accounting professional services.

(2)  Providing advice on insurance needs and sources.

(3)  Providing advice and help with intellectual property issues.

(4)  Providing or identifying sources of assistance on state regulatory programs such as Act 250.

(5)  Identifying and coordinating all sources of grants, loans, and other financial assistance.

(6)  Providing general assistance to small business start-ups. 

Sec. 5.  APPROPRIATION; SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

             CENTER

In addition to any funds appropriated in the fiscal year 2007 general appropriations act to the Vermont small business development center, there is appropriated in fiscal year 2007 to the center from the general fund the amount of $50,000.00 which shall be used specifically to train technical assistance providers to work with artists and other culturally based businesses, provide focused entrepreneurial training for artists and other culturally based businesses, and provide scholarships for business training for small cultural enterprises.

* * * Focusing Incentives on the Creative Economy * * *

Sec. 6.  ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STUDY; INTEGRATION OF

            INCENTIVES FOR THE CREATIVE ECONOMY

(a)  The economic development study committee, established by Sec. 205c of No. 71 of the Acts of 2005 (the FY 2006 appropriations act), charged with analyzing and recommending whether targeted business incentives are successful and effective in attracting and retaining appropriate types of business and economic growth to Vermont, shall not terminate on its reporting date of January 15, 2006.  The economic development study committee shall continue until January 15, 2007, and on or before that date, shall report to the general assembly supplemental findings and recommendations pertaining to the creative economy pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.

(b)  The economic development study committee shall:

(1)  Review all state economic development programs existing under current law for the previous two fiscal years, including programs providing tax incentives and tax expenditures for economic development, as well as direct grants, loans, and other assistance and report the total amount of assistance and incentives provided from all sources and separate amounts of each component of the economic development program.

(2)  Identify the amount of economic assistance and incentives provided in the previous two fiscal years to the creative economy sector as defined in Sec. 2 of this act as an aggregate total amount and from each assistance program or incentive.

(3)  Analyze and evaluate under the guidelines set out in Sec. 205c(d) of No. 71 of the Acts of 2005 whether current targeted economic assistance and incentive programs are appropriate and effective to retain, assist, and attract entrepreneurial business in the creative sector and recommend legislation or other actions to amend or add to current programs to focus economic development assistance and incentives on the creative economy.


* * * Promotion and Marketing the Creative Economy * * *

Sec. 7.  3 V.S.A. § 2507 is added to read: 

§ 2507.  CREATIVE GOODS AND SERVICES MARKETING PROGRAM

(a)  There is established a creative goods and services marketing program within the “market Vermont” program established in this subchapter.  The creative goods and services marketing program shall be administered by a creative goods and services marketing council to comprise the commissioner of economic development, a representative of the Vermont arts council selected by the council, the commissioner of tourism and marketing, and a representative of the Vermont cultural coordinating council selected by the council. 

(b)  The creative goods and services marketing council shall advise and assist state, regional, and local governmental agencies and Vermont’s artists, artisans, entrepreneurs, and inventors in getting inventions, artwork, new technologies, value-added agricultural products, and creative products to the marketplace.  Among other strategies, the council shall seek to:

(1)  Include cultural ambassadors with all domestic and foreign trade missions.

(2)  Promote Vermont creative and cultural products at trade shows.

(3)  Assist cultural organizations in developing mission-related products to sell as a revenue stream.

(4)  Incorporate Vermont’s creative products in all public relations efforts.

(5)  Develop a “buy local, buy creative” campaign for consumers, businesses, and state agencies.

(6)  Create and support an artist-to-business network where artists and private business corporations can collaborate on exhibits and purchases of artwork and services.

* * * Coordination of Cultural Heritage Information * * *

Sec. 8.  10 V.S.A. § 484a is added to read:

§ 484a.  VERMONT CULTURAL HERITAGE INFORMATION BOARD

(a)  There is created a Vermont cultural heritage information board to attract cultural heritage visitors to the state through a more unified promotion among state agencies of the breadth and depth of Vermont’s cultural attractions and resources.  The board shall be composed of the commissioner of tourism and marketing, a representative of the Vermont chamber of commerce selected by the chamber, a representative of the Vermont cultural coordinating council selected by the council, and a representative of the Vermont attractions association selected by the association.

(b)  The Vermont cultural heritage information board shall:

(1)  Advise and assist the travel information council in promoting cultural heritage visitors to the state.

(2)  Design, produce, and promote a statewide cultural heritage guide (both on paper and on-line) integrating regional cultural heritage offerings.

(3)  Organize and develop training programs for the use of cultural groups, nonprofit cultural organizations, and hospitality and regional marketing organizations to promote cultural heritage along with other aspects of the state or a region.

(4)  Develop and implement through the travel information council under the relevant provisions of section 490 of this title a “brown sign” program to indicate cultural and heritage destinations throughout the state, including temporary signs to promote specific cultural and heritage activities and events.

(5)  Highlight Vermont’s creative and cultural life through the promotion of special events, including:

(A)  A Vermont arts and artisans weekend, on a date declared by the governor upon recommendation of the board in consultation with the Vermont arts council, the Vermont historical society, the Vermont museum and gallery alliance, the department of tourism and marketing, and the marketing and promotion team of the department of economic development.

(B)  A Vermont history and heritage month, on a date declared by the governor upon recommendation of the board in consultation with the Vermont department of tourism and marketing, regional marketing organizations, the division of historic preservation, the Vermont historical society, the Vermont humanities council, the Vermont museum and gallery alliance, and the preservation trust of Vermont.

(C)  A “market Vermont innovations” theme as a topic in Vermont business and industry expositions and similar events in cooperation with the Vermont chamber of commerce and other business, crafts, economic development, and regional promotional organizations.

* * * Historic Downtown Development and Historic Rehabilitation * * *

Sec. 9.  24 V.S.A. § 2790(d) is added to read:

(d)  It is also the intent of the general assembly to support and promote the rehabilitation of downtown buildings and structures for innovative and creative small businesses, affordable artist housing, studio and performance space, cultural institutions, and retail and office space and services for the creative sector of the state’s economy in order to strengthen creative communities and improve the cultural infrastructure throughout the state. 

Sec. 10.  24 V.S.A. § 2792(a) is amended to read:

(a)  A “Vermont downtown development board,” also referred to as the “state board,” is created to administer the provisions of this chapter.  The state board members shall be the following permanent members, or their designees:

(1)  The secretary of commerce and community development;

(2)  The secretary of transportation;

(3)  The secretary of natural resources;

(4)  The secretary of human services;

(5)  The commissioner of public safety;

(6)  The commissioner of housing and community affairs; and

(7)  Three public members representative of local government, one of whom shall be designated by the Vermont league of cities and towns, and two shall be appointed by the governor; and

(8)  Three members representing the creative economy of the state, one each selected by the Vermont council on rural development, the Vermont arts council, and the Vermont cultural coordinating council.

Sec. 11.  24 V.S.A. § 2795 is amended to read:

§ 2795.  CONSIDERATION FOR COMPETITIVE‑BASED INCENTIVES

In awarding competitive-based financial incentives under section 2794 of this title, including but not limited to a rebate and tax incentives, or in awarding grants or other assistance from the downtown transportation and related capital improvement fund under section 2796 of this title, the Vermont downtown development board shall give consideration to the following factors:

(1)  the vacancy rate for existing buildings in the downtown district;

(2)  the current or projected unemployment rate for the labor market area in which the municipality is located;

(3)  ordinances or bylaws adopted by the municipality that support the preservation of the downtown’s vitality, including, but not limited to:

(A)  an ordinance or bylaw requiring that new construction in the downtown development district shall be compatible with the buildings that contribute to the integrity of the district, in terms of materials, features, size, scale, and proportion, and massing of buildings, and that exterior rehabilitation shall respect the historic and architectural significance and its exterior features; and

(B)  a conditional use provision in a town zoning ordinance that supports adaptive reuse of historic properties;

(4)  the integration of the proposed improvements with any coordinated plan for the downtown district and surrounding area;

(5)  the use of the proposed improvements to promote and support creative, cultural, innovative, and heritage-based enterprises in the downtown district, such as utilization of historic downtown buildings and structures for innovative and creative businesses, affordable artist housing, studio, and performance space, cultural institutions, and retail and office space and services for such enterprises;

(5)(6)  the degree of any deficiency in the downtown district of transportation infrastructure including parking facilities;

(6)(7)  the vulnerability of the downtown district to economic decline due to competing development in adjacent areas;

(7)(8)  the immediacy of the benefits provided and the desirability of prompt action to secure those benefits for a downtown district;

(8)(9)  the amount of investment from individual Vermont taxpayers that has been committed to projects in the downtown district.  In considering this factor, the board shall recognize the value of individuals participating in downtown projects by giving preference to applications for incentives from individual Vermont taxpayers, and projects coordinated by developers who have encouraged the participation of such investors.

Sec. 12.  32 V.S.A. § 5930n(f) is amended to read:

(f)  Limitations and recapture.

(1)(A)  In any fiscal year after 1998, the The state board may award tax credits to all applicants under this section and section 5930p of this title, so that the total shall not exceed $1,000,000.00 $1,500,000.00 in fiscal year 2007, $1,750,000.00 in fiscal year 2008, $2,000,000.00 in fiscal year 2009, and $2,250,000.00 in fiscal year 2010 and thereafter, when added together with the following:

* * *

Sec. 13.  32 V.S.A. § 5930p(f) is amended to read:

(f)(1)(A)  In any fiscal year after 1998, the The state board may award tax credits to all applicants under this section and section 5930n of this title, so that the total shall not exceed $1,000,000.00 $1,500,000.00 in fiscal year 2007, $1,750,000.00 in fiscal year 2008, $2,000,000.00 in fiscal year 2009, $2,250,000.00 in fiscal year 2010 and thereafter, when considered together with the following:

* * *



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us