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Brownfield Financial Incentives

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), New York State Department (NYSDEC) and local governments encourage brownfields developers to learn about and take advantage of the variety of financial and technical assistance resources available to support a brownfield project. The success of many brownfields cleanup and redevelopment projects depends on the ability of developers and investors to craft a financing package that leverages numerous sources of funding available from a variety of sources.

Provided below is a summary of the key federal tax incentives and credits that can be leveraged for brownfields cleanup, redevelopment, and reuse. The descriptions of these incentives and credits are simplified explanations of provisions, which often contains additional caveats, restrictions, and modifications. Anyone interested in using these incentives should review the relevant sections of the tax code in detail and consult a tax professional prior to making business decisions.

Federal

The following incentives available to EPA provide a variety of grants to state, local, and tribal governments, quasi-governmental entities, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, and regional councils/commission.

  • Targeted Brownfields Assessments
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

    EPA Region 2 provides Targeted Brownfield Assessments (TBAs) which are designed to inventory, characterize, and assess brownfield sites using EPA contractors. The TBA program is open for requests year-round and features a noncompetitive application process for the award of assessment services.


    Contact:

    Schenine Mitchell, 212-637-3283, mitchell.schenine@epa.gov

  • Brownfield Grants
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

    Competitive grants to government entities and non-profit ranging from $300,000 to $800,000 that may be used to inventory, assess, and clean-up contaminated sites.


    Contact:
    Schenine Mitchell, mitchell.schenine@epa.gov, 212-637-3283

  • Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund (RLF)
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

    Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) grants provide funding for a grant recipient to capitalize a revolving loan fund and to provide sub grants to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites. When loans are repaid, the loan amount is returned into the fund and re-lent to other borrowers, providing an ongoing source of capital within a community.


    Contact:
    Schenine Mitchell, mitchell.schenine@epa.gov, 212-637-3283

New York State

  • Brownfield Tax Credits 
    NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

    Available to help offset the cost of remediation and encourage private sector redevelopment of brownfield properties enrolled in the DEC Brownfield clean-up program (BCP). There are two refundable tax credits under the BCP: remediated brownfield credit for real property and brownfield redevelopment tax credit. The BCP is one of the more effective tax-based incentive programs offered by the state. The BCP allows participants to remediate a contaminated piece of real property in exchange for tax credits that can total up to 50% of the qualified remediation costs incurred to clean the property, and 24% of the qualified construction costs incurred to develop the property after it has been remediated. These tax credits can be the difference between a lucrative development and one that is economically unfeasible.

    Find Out More


  • NYS Empire State Development Grant

    Provides $150M for site development activities including site remediation and demolition. For more information, eligible applicants should contact the local Empire State Development Regional Office.

    Find Out More


  • NYMS Downtown Stabilization Project
    New York Main Street

    Applicants may request $100,000 to $500,000 to complete a Downtown Stabilization Project. Funds are available to assist with environmental remediation and associated construction costs, as well as other innovative approaches to stabilizing and developing a downtown, mixed-use project.

    NYMS Downtown Stabilization Project funds may not exceed 75% of the total project cost. NYMS Downtown Stabilization Project funds are available for projects that meet the goals identified above and, include but are not limited to: asbestos management (surveys, abatement design plans, air monitoring, etc.), soil vapor intrusion testing and mitigation, building stabilization construction activities (e.g. roof stabilization in conjunction with asbestos remediation) or other projects that identify or mitigate risks associated with other hazardous materials or remove obstacles to future redevelopment.

    Applicants must demonstrate local support, financial commitments, and a compelling need for substantial public investment.


    Contact:
    Crystal Loffler Program Director Crystal.Loffler@nyshcr.org

  • Economics Development Program
    National Grid

    Economic development grants supporting initiatives designed to grow the regional economy. Strong focus on site development, urban revitalization, strategic marketing, and facilitating customer growth through infrastructure assistance, energy efficiency and productivity improvement.

    The Program reflects an increasing emphasis on sustainable development, the efficient use of existing energy infrastructure, and the strategic deployment of renewable generation technologies.


    Contact:
    315-428-6798, shovelready@nationalgrid.com

  • NYS Historic Commercial Properties Tax Credit
    State Historic Preservation Office

    Covers 20% of qualified rehabilitation costs up to a credit value of $5 million; must be combined with the 20% Federal Historic Preservation Commercial Tax Credit (which can then cover 40% of qualified rehabilitation expenditures), therefore project must meet all the requirements of the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program. Use of state commercial credit is limited to buildings in qualifying census tracts or must be a historic building within a NYS Park or State Historic Site

    Link to Contact Info


  • New York Main St. Program
    New York State

    Financial resources and technical assistance to communities to strengthen the economic vitality of the State’s traditional Main Streets and neighborhoods. The program provides funds to units of local government, and not-for-profit organizations that are committed to revitalizing historic downtowns, mixed-use neighborhood commercial districts, and village centers. Main Street grants are used towards façade renovations, interior commercial and residential building upgrades, and streetscape enhancements. Eligible activities include building renovation, downtown anchor, and technical assistance

    Link to Contact Info


Local

  • Tax-Exempt and Taxable Bonds:
    Fulton County Industrial Development Agency

    IDAs can typically provide low-interest industrial revenue bonds (IRBs) to qualifying manufacturers that encourage lenders to provide project financing at below market interest rates that apply to the cost of land, buildings, and equipment.


    Contact:
    FCIDA 518.736.5660

  • Real Property Tax Abatement
    Fulton County Industrial Development Agency

    IDA can negotiate payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTSs), as well as sales/use and mortgage tax exemption; Contact: Local IDA


    Contact:
    FCIDA,  518.736.5660

  • Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs)
    Fulton County Center for Regional Growth

    Job creation is a major goal of the pool. The loan to job ratio is up to a maximum of $15,000/job created and/or retained.


    Contact:
    Click Here,  CRG, 518.725.7700

Assessing and remediating a brownfield site leads to new development opportunities, which enhances neighborhood property values and increases the municipal tax base.

Redeveloped properties may also create more walkable communities, helping residents who might not have access to vehicles have safer access to schools, hospitals, and grocery stores. An additional benefit is the ability for a municipality to generate funds through an increase in local taxes. This growth and renewal can create jobs. Two recent studies indicated cleaning up brownfield sites can lead to a 5-15 percent increase in value of properties located 1.29 miles from a site.

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