Governor Martin O'Malley Announces Recipients of Sustainable Communities Tax Credit
$11 million in grants will leverage commercial and residential construction projects to create an estimated 740 construction jobs
BALTIMORE, MD (February 11, 2011)–Governor Martin O’Malley this morning announced the recipients of the latest round of Sustainable Communities Tax Credits, which will help create 740 construction jobs in projects that will revitalize communities and promote green building practices around the state. Ten projects that scored highest in the application process received a total of $11 million in tax credits. A total of 36 applications were received seeking $40 million in tax credits. The construction projects have a total estimated cost of $82,430,000. The Sustainable Communities Tax Credit and its predecessor, the Historic Tax Credit, have invested more than $358 million in Maryland revitalization projects in the past 15 years, supporting 15,000 jobs and revitalizing communities.
“This tax credit represents the best of public investment and private enterprise as we continue to seek ways to fuel economic growth and create jobs,” said Governor O’Malley. “The success of the program in recent years cannot be understated. These projects will help revitalize historic communities, strengthen a green economy throughout our State, and create new construction and rehabilitation jobs in every corner of Maryland.”
Last year, Governor O’Malley successfully proposed an enhanced version of the Historic Tax Credit, transforming it into the Sustainable Communities Tax Credit to create jobs, spur economic development, and revitalize neighborhoods. The Heritage Tax Credit in its 14-year history has invested more than $347 million in Maryland revitalization projects since 1996. Those projects have produced more than $1.5 billion in total direct rehabilitation expenditures by owners and developers. Coupled with wages, both construction and new jobs, and State and local revenues generated, this equates to more than $8.50 in economic output for every $1 invested by State government.
In his proposed budget for FY2012, Governor O’Malley maintained funding for the Sustainable Communities Tax Credit at $10 million.
The Governor made his announcement at the former Hoen Lithograph plant in East Baltimore. The project involves the rehabilitation and LEED green adaptive re-use for office and commercial space of a two-story, 85,000-square foot, pre-1900 industrial building. The Sustainable Tax Credit was one of the first incentives in the country to link LEED green building design with historic preservation.
“The new Sustainable Communities Tax Credit strengthened the previous program as an incentive for smart growth and sustainable development,” said Maryland Secretary of Planning Richard E. Hall, who chairs the Governor’s Smart Growth Subcabinet. “This tax credit program has been hailed as one of Maryland’s most effective Smart, Green and Growing tools. By expanding program eligibility and coordinating more closely with related state programs, the tax credit benefits more communities across the state as a critical vehicle for redevelopment and neighborhood revitalization.”
“The 2010 legislation that renewed this valuable tax credit program also recognized the importance of focusing many community reinvestment tools, including tax credits, grants and loans, in targeted areas,” said Raymond A. Skinner, Maryland Secretary of Housing and Community Development. “Along with tax credits, Community Legacy grants and Neighborhood BusinessWorks loans are helping to transform East Baltimore and other newly designated Sustainable Communities throughout the State.”
Locally focused nonprofits statewide, and such organizations as HEBCAC, EBDI, BUILD and The Reinvestment Fund in East Baltimore, are working on comprehensive strategies for coordinating investments that result in more livable and sustainable communities.
The ten projects selected to receive over $11 million in the latest round of tax credits ($10 million for FY 2011 plus $1.8 million carried over) were selected based on a scoring scale. Scoring was based on an established set of criteria, including those outlined by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior for historic rehabilitation standards.