Albany Reaches Agreement on Amendments to Brownfield Cleanup Program Act

Proposed amendments to New York State’s Brownfield Cleanup Program Act could significantly increase the amount of available tax credits for Empire State developers.

Earlier this week, lawmakers in Albany reached an agreement with Governor Paterson on amendments to New York State’s Brownfield Cleanup Program Act (“BCPA”). Under current BCPA provisions, developers can receive tax credits for up to 22 percent of the cost of remediating a brownfield site. The new Act will increase that figure to 50 percent but include a cap of $35 million (or three times the cleanup cost, whichever is less) for non-manufacturing projects; the cap increases to $45 million (or six times the cleanup cost, again, whichever is less) for manufacturing projects. Amendments to the Act had actually been proposed under the Spitzer administration but would have set the cap at a maximum of $15 million.

The higher cap for manufacturing projects acknowledges that most of those types of facilities are built upstate in comparatively depressed economic locales, as compared to the New York City area. In a press release, Governor Paterson noted that “[t]he current program has not achieved desired redevelopment in struggling areas, and has provided large windfalls for some projects that were not meeting the state’s goals of assuring environmental cleanup while spurring economic development.” Although Albany’s legislative session is over, lawmakers will stay through the end of the week to vote on a number of last-minute bills, including the BCPA amendments, which are expected to pass.

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