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State Tax Credits News Briefs - March 2012

The Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) implemented a temporary rule that prevents renewable energy project owners from increasing the amount of their business energy tax credit (BETC). The agency said it would not approve any amendment requests received after January 13 that would result in an increased tax credit. The rule was established to support the intent of H.B. 3672, which halted new activity within the BETC program. Permanent rulemaking is expected to take place this summer. In a separate announcement, ODOE released an application for tax credits for small energy conservation projects under the Conservation Energy Incentive Program. Approximately $1.7 million in tax credits is available on a first-come, first-served basis for Small Premium Projects, which are defined as projects that have qualified costs of less than $20,000. The maximum tax credit award is $7,000 per project. More information about the BETC rulemaking and details on how to apply for energy conservation tax credits are available at www.oregon.gov.

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Maryland's Department of Business and Economic Development (DEBD) selected Grant Street Group to administer the auction of the state's InvestMaryland tax credits to insurance companies operating in Maryland. A total of $100 million in credits will be auctioned off this month, with a floor of 70 cents on the dollar. The auction is intended to raise a minimum of $70 million for start-up and early stage companies in Maryland. Funds raised will be invested through venture capital firms selected by the Maryland Venture Fund Authority. Of the funds invested through these private firms, 100 percent of the principal and 80 percent of the profits will be returned to the state's general fund. The remaining funds will be deposited into the Maryland Venture Fund, and another portion will go to the Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority for investment. Following the auction, private venture capital firms will be able to begin making investments by mid-2012 and insurance companies will be able to claim tax credits beginning in 2015.

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Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal proposed several tax reforms at a Georgia Chamber of Commerce event that he said would give the state's workforce a competitive advantage. One of the proposals, which were developed by the Georgia Competitiveness Initiative Task Force, is to modernize the Job Tax Credit and the Quality Jobs Tax Credit programs by decreasing the quality job creation threshold from 50 jobs to 15. He also proposed removing the sales tax on energy used in manufacturing, and granting sales and use tax exemptions for construction materials used in projects of regional significance.

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Indiana's General Assembly is considering a budget bill that would increase property taxes on low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) properties. S.B. 344 would change how the state assesses property taxes; it would repeal the prohibition against using the value of federal LIHTCs to determine property taxes on LIHTC properties. Additional property taxes collected as a result of the repeal would be used to fund local residential historic rehabilitation grant programs, which municipalities would be permitted to establish under the bill. The introduced version of S.B. 344 called for the expiration of numerous community development tax credit programs, including the historic rehabilitation tax credit, beginning in 2017. But before the Senate adopted the bill, the Committee on Tax and Fiscal Policy removed the section that would have eliminated those tax credit programs. The bill was referred to the House in February. A copy of S.B. 344 is available at www.taxcredithousing.com.

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The Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) approved a new rule to govern the newly created New Markets Capital Investment program. The regulations, issued in Rulemaking Notice 11-480, took effect in January and closely follow the statute enacted by the Legislature to create the program. The notice explains the application, certification and recapture processes. FAME will administer the credit in cooperation with Maine Revenue Services and the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development. Under the regulations, FAME may not authorize more than $250 million in aggregate investments eligible for tax credit authority. The allocation award limit per community development entity and its affiliates is $62.5 million. Read the notice on FAME's web site at www.famemaine.com.

Journal Category:

State Tax Credits

Authors:

Novogradac

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