GBC to renew effort to improve historic rehab tax credit award process

During the 2007 General Assembly session, the Greater Baltimore Committee will renew its efforts to gain a change in the state’s rules for awarding tax credits for commercial rehabilitation of historic buildings, said GBC president Donald C. Fry.

The state’s commercial rehab tax credit awards for 2006, announced on July 26, left unused almost $10 million in available credits because of a legislated cap on the amount of credits that can be awarded to projects in any one jurisdiction.

As a result, 28 qualified projects in Baltimore City did not receive tax credit awards because, under the current rules, city projects were limited to a maximum $15 million in awards – 50 percent of the total available. All projects that requested tax credits in other jurisdictions received funding.

“This underscores the need for some sensible adjustments to the rules that will allow for available tax credits to be fully distributed to qualified projects,” said Fry.

The good news is that lawmakers increased the available amount of tax credits this year to $30 million – up from $20 million last year, Fry noted.

“Members of the General Assembly deserve credit for recognizing the value of this straightforward, but highly effective, incentive for commercial redevelopment,” said Fry. “We’re looking forward to working with legislators in 2007 to fine tune the process of awarding the credits so that they are fully and most effectively used.”

During the 2006 General Assembly session, the GBC supported increasing the amount of available historic rehab tax credits. The GBC also advocated for changing the award rules so that funds would not go unused, because of caps, if eligible projects existed. The General Assembly increased the available funding for the credits, but did not vote on proposals to eliminate or modify the cap rules.

Recent media coverage of this issue:
Daily Record 
Baltimore Sun 
Examiner  

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