State Tax Credits News Briefs - March 2013

Friday, March 1, 2013

The New Jersey Supreme Court is considering whether Gov. Chris Christie has the authority to abolish the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing (COAH), which Christie tried to dismantle in 2011. Since then, Christie has been trying to transfer the duties of COAH to his cabinet. Under a 1969 state law, the governor may reorganize executive branch departments, but COAH was established to be “in but not of” the Department of Community Affairs, making it unclear if he has the authority to disband COAH. The initial hearing was held on Jan. 28, but the court did not give a deadline for a decision.

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed to streamline the administration of homeless housing development in his 2013-2014 budget proposal. Currently, New York State Homes and Community Renewal (NYSHCR) administers capital housing development programs, including the federal low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC). The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance administers the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program (HHAP), a $30 million effort to develop homeless housing. An average of 32 percent of HHAP projects receive funding through NYSHCR. Cuomo proposed reducing inefficiencies by transferring HHAP and its staff to NYSHCR.

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A Utah state bill proposes to give employers a corporate or individual income tax credit of up to $2,000 for hiring a homeless person. Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, introduced H.B. 274 to offer employers tax credits of $500 to $2,000, depending on the number of hours a homeless employee works during consecutive six-month periods. The bill specifies that it only applies to people living in private or publicly funded temporary or transitional housing. It does not apply to homeless people living on the street. King introduced similar legislation in 2012 that passed the House of Representatives but died in the Senate Rules Committee. More information can be found at www.le.utah.gov.

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Landmarks Association of St. Louis Inc., a nonprofit historic preservation advocacy group, urged protection for the state historic rehabilitation tax credit (HTC). The group specifically wants small projects under $250,000 to remain exempt from a tax credit cap and wants to prevent the cap from being lowered on larger projects. The group urged proponents of the HTC to let state legislators know about the success of the program. The HTC has generated 43,000 jobs in Missouri and has generated $1 billion for the state economy.

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The Blue Planet Foundation released a report in January on the economic impacts of Hawaii’s solar energy tax credit. The report found that the tax incentive, which covers 35 percent of an energy system’s costs, offers several benefits to the state’s economy. The typical return on investment for solar tax credit projects ranges from 8.9 percent to 10.3 percent. Solar energy projects generate 15 percent of all construction expenditures in the state and the industry maintains 2,000 local jobs. The typical 118-kilowatt solar installation adds 2.7 local jobs for each year of a system’s expected 30-year lifetime. The report also noted an increased number of solar installations in lower median income areas.

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Rhode Island State Senate President M. Teresa Paiva-Weed announced her support for a proposal by Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee to restore the state HTC. Chafee proposes to modify the HTC program by allowing access to tax credits that remain after developers who were previously awarded credits abandon their projects.

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A Missouri state senate economic development committee has endorsed legislation that would provide a tax credit to local organizing groups of amateur sporting events. S.B. 25 would offer a credit of $5 for every ticket sold at qualifying sporting events. It would allocate up to $3 million a year to draw Olympic, collegiate and youth sports events.

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State Tax Credits