State Tax Credits News Briefs - November 2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Kansas Department of Commerce ended Kansas Main Street, a program that provided guidance and funding to small communities to revitalize their historic commercial districts. For 27 years, Kansas Main Street offered training, technical assistance, advocacy and funding services to local Main Street programs in 25 towns. The program helped generate $557 million in downtown reinvestment, more than 3,600 businesses and more than 8,500 jobs. It also produced two Great American Main Street Award winners in Parsons and Emporia. The Kansas Department of Commerce decided to end the program as part of an internal restructuring process.

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Ascena Retail Group and Menlo Logistics received tax credits from the Ohio Tax Credit Authority in late September to expand their Etna Township sites in Licking County, Ohio. Menlo said it will add 80,000 square feet to its distribution center by December to accommodate a new client. Menlo plans to hire 12 to 15 people during the first phase of expansion and an additional 63 employees after construction is completed. The new hires will work in the warehouse, distribution management and order preparation. Ascena, which manufactures apparel for subsidiaries like Dressbarn, Justice and Lane Bryant, will receive a 10-year, 60 percent tax credit and will commit to stay in Etna for 13 years. The company will expand its distribution center to 550,000 square feet to include all brands, retaining $10.2 million in payroll and adding 225 full-time positions. New positions include a director, managers, supervisors, human resources staff, transportation staff, engineers, case handlers and unit handlers. The Ascena expansion is expected to be completed by fall 2017.

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Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin announced an allocation of $1.79 million in state tax credits to support nearly $26 million in downtown building and village center improvements through Vermont’s downtown program. Funds were awarded to 30 projects in 17 communities across the state, including nearly $720,000 in tax credits for the reconstruction of the severely fire-damaged Brooks House in Brattleboro into nine retail spaces, three restaurants, office space and 25 market-rate housing units. Almost $288,000 in tax credits went toward rehabilitating the century-old Blanchard Building in downtown Barre into ground-floor commercial space and office space for as many as 200 employees in the upper levels. Other projects include development of an old church into a performing arts center, reopening of an old general store into a community center and rehabilitation of a 1920s building space into seven hotel guest rooms. The state will award an additional $500,000 in flood credits this year to repair buildings damaged by Hurricane Irene last year. Flood credits will benefit communities in Barre, Brattleboro, Waterbury and Wilmington. A full list of awardees is available at www.governor.vermont.gov.

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The Oregon Department of Revenue held an online tax credit auction to benefit the Renewable Energy Development Fund. Businesses and individuals with Oregon income tax liabilities bid on nontransferable tax credits that may be carried over for three years. There were 3,000 increments of $500 tax credit certificates. The minimum bid started at $475 per increment.

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Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced a Dec. 5 deadline for his tax credit review commission to submit its updated report. Nixon established the commission in 2010 to investigate the efficiency of state tax programs in Missouri. He reconvened the commission in August this year to produce an updated report on the state’s 61 tax credit programs, which saw a collective 15.4 percent increase in redemptions between 2010 and 2012. Nixon addressed his tax credit review commission in September, announcing that tax credit reform will be a priority issue when the Missouri Legislature convenes in 2013.

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The New Mexico Legislature’s Revenue Stabilization and Tax Policy Committee reviewed the 2012 New Mexico Tax Expenditure Report in September. Gov. Susana Martinez issued an executive order last year directing the taxation and revenue department to produce an annual report on the state’s existing tax expenditure programs and to provide a foundation for tracking tax expenditures. Released in June, the 129-page report encompassed everything from renewable energy and venture capital investments to cultural property preservation and public health care facilities. While the committee provided a cursory overview of each tax credit, including a program summary and the amount claimed for each credit, it did not specify any recommendations on which tax expenditures were effective and which ones were not. The committee said it could not provide a consistent and straightforward method of tracking tax expenditures in-depth and that a more comprehensive report would require a multiagency effort. Read the report at www.taxcredithousing.com.

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