NEW YORK — The New York City Chapter of NAIOP (Commercial Real Estate Development Association) recently called on the state Senate and Assembly to include in their respective budget submissions a proposal to eliminate the sunset of the Brownfields program.
The Brownfields program encourages property owners to clean up contaminated sites, by granting tax credits.
Brian Robin, president of the New York City Chapter of NAIOP, said, “The Brownfields program is one of the surest and most immediate ways to spur jobs and investment throughout the state. It’s essential that the state extend the sunset to encourage the continued development of contaminated properties around the state.”
While almost three years away, the 2015 sunset of the program is having a chilling effect on the redevelopment of contaminated properties. According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, it takes a project on average 2.8 years to obtain the certificate of completion required to actually access the tax credits. Under the current law, tax credits will not be available for Brownfields program sites with a certificate of completion issued after March 31, 2015. This uncertainty effectively precludes the economic development of new Brownfields projects that the credit is actually intended to promote.
“While 2015 seems like a long way off, the reality is these projects are complicated, take time to develop and get certified. To put it bluntly, developers simply won’t take the risk that they will meet certification in the ‘average time,’ the costs are too high,” said President-elect Neil Tipograph.
The Brownfields Tax Credit program is one of the most potent tools New York state has to promote economic growth. It uses objective standards to spur development in struggling communities across the state.