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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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S.204

Introduced by Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs

Date:

Subject:  Taxation; development; downtown and village centers; tax credit; increase ceiling

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to increase the annual amount of tax credit available for the downtown and village center program to $2,000.000.00.

AN ACT RELATING TO INCREASED FUNDING FOR THE DOWNTOWN AND VILLAGE CENTER TAX CREDIT PROGRAM

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

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS

The general assembly finds the following:

(1)  Economically vital downtowns and village centers are critical to Vermont’s communities.

(2)  Redevelopment of private structures in downtowns and village centers is often very challenging, so Vermont has created a downtown and village center tax credit program that successfully supports redevelopment investments.

(3)  The downtown and village center tax credit program has been so successful that there are 22 downtowns and 73 village centers that have designated areas eligible for the tax credit incentives.

(4)  In 2006, the general assembly approved several changes to the downtown and village center tax credit program, making the program more user‑friendly for small businesses and expanding the tax credits to village centers, not just downtowns.

(5)  In fiscal year 2007, the annual cap of $1.5 million was fully committed in just three months.

(6)  The demand for this program is tremendous.  With more than three months before fiscal year 2008 begins, the backlog of requests received totals over $1.4 million, and over 50 downtown and village center redevelopment projects have indicated their interest in or intent to apply to the program in the next two years.

(7)  The combination of the tax credits for life safety sprinkler and accessibility elevators helps to utilize fully under‑used second and third floors in downtowns and village centers.  The redevelopments supported by these credits helps to create housing, retail, services, offices, and jobs in our community centers.

(8)  A number of Vermont communities have been devastated by fires.  Firefighting professionals strongly urge property owners to utilize these tax credits to install sprinklers, which significantly reduce the incidents of fire and related injury.

(9)  Studies show the state receives over 68 percent of the tax credit value back within two years through tax receipts on construction wages, sales taxes on materials, and higher property taxes paid into the education fund.

(10)  Since 1999, the program has allocated $4.3 million in credits to 98 projects, leveraging over $30 million in private investment.

Sec. 2.  32 V.S.A. § 5930ee is amended to read:

§ 5930ee.  LIMITATIONS

Beginning in fiscal year 2007 and thereafter, the state board may award tax credits to all qualified applicants under this subchapter, provided that:

(1)  The total amount of tax credits awarded annually, together with sales tax reallocated under section 9819 of this title, does not exceed $1,500,000.00  $2,000,000.00.

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Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us