BOSTON – Over 50 Massachusetts developers, architects, attorneys and tax professionals gathered at Gillette Stadium to listen as industry leaders discussed the field of tax credit acquisition and syndication for historic preservation, renewable energy creation or remediation of contaminated land.
Did you know?
The Massachusetts Department of Revenue offers a 50%, dollar for dollar, tax credit towards the eligible costs incurred for the remediation of a brownfields site?
Not every developer has the interest to buy contaminated land, especially considering the significant costs that are associated with remediating brownfields sites. For the right person however, there are several benefits to developing brownfields land:
With the 2016 fiscal year almost upon us, and the new Massachusetts Governor, Charlie Baker attempting to close a budget gap of approximately $1.8BN,it is expected that our legislators will take a hard look at incentives and tax credits as a way in which to balance the budget.
Last Friday, Cherrytree Group hosted our third annual seminar, “Developing a Brownfields Site: Building a Toolkit for Success”. This was a panel discussion which drew experts from several different fields together to discuss how to work together and essentially form a team to develop a Brownfields site without ‘breaking the bank’.
Following the implementation on November 18, 2013, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue's ("DOR") Tax Administration Directive 13-4, DOR has been applying a more vigorous and disciplined interpretation of its guidelines than ever before in the history of the Massachusetts Brownfields Tax Credit Program ("BTC"). The Directive provided for an appeal procedure that in the case of a partially approved tax credit, allows the use of the approved portion and the appeal of the portion of the credit that DOR proposes to deny.
The Massachusetts Underground Storage Tank Program (the “21J program”) was established in 1991 by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 21J. The purpose of the 21J program is to "prevent the need for environmental cleanup actions and to expedite environmental cleanup actions by providing partial reimbursement to owners or operators of underground storage tanks … for costs, expenses and other obligations incurred as a result of releases of petroleum products …” from their underground storage tank (“UST”) systems. (Emphasis added).
Most people would never consider intentionally purchasing a contaminated property. There are those however, who see opportunity in purchasing contaminated parcels of land with the intent to remediate them and then either develop or resell the property.
The Obtaining a Brownfields conference was such a success, that we have hosted the event twice. First in Boston, MA in May, and again most recently this October in Springfield, MA. At both events, attendees had the chance to hear leaders in the environmental industry explain their professional experience working with the Massachusetts Brownfields program. The speakers at the recent Springfield event were: Kerry Bowie, Director of Brownfields and Environmental Justice, MA DEP, Richard Cote, P.E., LSP, Comprehensive Environmental Inc., and Warren Kirshenbaum, President, Cherrytree Group. These speakers presented their knowledge on the different facets of the Massachusetts Brownfields Program using case studies and real life examples. Attending LSPs had the option to register for credit and receive 2.0 technical credits for the conference.
The Greenery of Brownfields:
What exactly is a Brownfields site?
This term, which was first minted in 1992, is defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a “property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant”. This EPA definition was used as the foundation of the original federal brownfields program back in 1995, and derivatives thereof have been adapted for use under state brownfields programs across the nation. Although the federal brownfields program was allowed to sunset in 2011, many of the state Brownfields programs are still thriving, and, given that the federal program was the genesis of these state programs, we still focus on the roots of the federal program for guidance and understanding.