Steven C. Russo
January 5, 2015
Last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill that would have extended the current Brownfield tax credit program for fifteen months beyond its expiration at the end of this year. The Governor apparently wishes to use the possibility that the tax credits will expire as an impetus for broader and longer-term reform that his Administration seeks. That proposed reform has its own problems, however, and where this will all come out is unclear, which is not optimal for Brownfield redevelopment.
New York State has one of the most successful Brownfield redevelopment programs in the nation and there is little doubt that the very generous tax credits provided to redevelopers of these former contaminated sites is a big reason for this success. Those credits expire at the end of 2015. Critics of the program, however, have argued that the credits are overly generous and include too many projects that would have been developed and remediated even absent the tax credits. It is challenging to say the least to figure out which Brownfield sites would not have been developed “but for” the credits.