Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott today announced the allocation of $2.7 million in state tax incentives for 22 projects, supporting more than $53 million in downtown and village center construction and rehabilitation efforts. This includes nearly $300,000 for the renovation of two upper-floors in downtown Montpelier’s French Block. Vacant for more than 75 years this underutilized downtown building will be rehabilitated to create 18 affordable housing units.
“We have seen firsthand how investments in our downtowns and villages add to the vibrancy of communities large and small, while generating jobs and growing the economy,” Scott said. “Tax credits that reduce development costs, along with streamlined permitting in areas the state has designated for growth, are proven tools to create jobs and increase our tax base.”
For a complete list of projects, see below.
“I was delighted that the General Assembly supported the Governor’s proposal to increase the program’s funding by $200,000 and expand the Department’s efforts to build strong and vital communities,” said Department of Housing and Community Development Commissioner Katie Buckley. “It’s a wise investment as every dollar of tax credit leverages an average of $17 in outside funding.”
In 2017, tax credits will offset the costs of major investments to support projects in 19 communities. The projects include rehabilitation of two historic buildings in the heart of downtown Bennington for commercial and office space, as well as downtown student housing and offices for Bennington College; installation of an elevator to expand use of a mixed commercial block in Newport; and renovation of the Vermont Studio Center’s Church Studio in Johnson, following a recent fire.
Additionally, the Town of Hartford received a Sales Tax Reallocation award. In the Village of White River Junction, reallocated taxes will support public infrastructure improvements associated with the new five-story 80-unit senior living facility “The Villages at White River Junction.”
Other project highlights include rehabilitation of the Quincy Hotel in Enosburg Falls, renovation of the upper floors in Brandon’s historic Smith Block, re-opening of the Essex House in Island Pond, accessibility and safety improvements to the Guilford Center Grange Hall for use as a community space, renovation of the upper floors of the historic Gryphon Building in downtown Rutland, and multiple mixed-use projects in Brattleboro.
The state designation programs in the Agency of Commerce and Community Development target investments to build strong communities and promote the efficient use of land, infrastructure and resources. Nearly 170 community centers are designated (both downtowns and villages), allowing them to receive priority consideration for state grants and access to state tax incentives.
Source: Governor 9.6.2017. Very top photo: Putnam Block, Bennington. Bruce Edwards/Vermont Business Magazine photo.