Sustainable Communities Tax Credit Announcement
January 8, 2010
Thank you Lt. Governor Brown for your continued leadership, partnership and commitment,… and thanks to all of you for joining us,…
We’re finding more and more in our public policy that as just as many of the challenges we’re facing are connected, in big ways and in small ways, so too are many of our opportunities. Particularly when it comes to our urgent priority of jobs, jobs, jobs – creating, saving, and placing our fellow citizens in quality jobs.
The announcements we’re here to make today are about, first and foremost jobs, jobs, jobs – and they are also about the connected priorities of growing the emerging green sector of our economy, strengthening our local communities and neighborhoods, and protecting the character, heritage, and above all the people who make our State the greatest state in the union.
It all comes back to the big goals we share for strengthening and growing the ranks of an increasingly diverse, upwardly mobile middle class – including our family owned businesses and farms. And we do that by improving our quality of life – by improving public safety and public education in every part of our state and expanding opportunity to more people rather than fewer; the opportunity to learn, to earn, and to enjoy the health of the people we love and our environment, the land, the water, and the air that future generations will need to sustain life itself.
Announcing the Sustainable Communities Tax Credit
The first thing we’re here to announce is legislation we’re proposing this session to create what we call the Sustainable Communities Tax Credit. This new initiative will expand and approve upon the Heritage Structure Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program, which otherwise will expire in June.
Why is this a priority we care about? In a word: “jobs.” Rehabilitating historic sites is a proven job engine, creating by some estimates 20% more jobs than construction of new sites. And as an illustration, in its 12 years of existence, the Heritage Tax Credit has fueled upwards of 15,000 Maryland jobs, while pumping an estimated $1.74 billion into our economy. All in all, it’s been estimated that for every dollar of tax credit that is used, $8.53 in economic output is generated.
Our proposal calls for building upon this progress, by expanding eligibility for the credit to properties in areas which participate in our Main Street, Maple Street and Transit Oriented Development initiatives. And in a further expansion, we’re proposing to offer an extra 5% for LEED Gold projects which meet national standards for green building.
Our President has showed great leadership on this, and we hope that by making these improvements to the law, we’ll further our partnership with his Administration toward our goals for creating jobs and promoting sustainability.
Announcing Four Sites
The second announcement we’re here to make today illustrates the potential we see in this Credit. I’m please to announce four new projects which will be receiving awards:
The first is our gracious hosts for this afternoon at Union Mill, where we’re awarding $2.9 million in tax credits to restore this former manufacturing facility into a mixed-use residential and commercial center that will provide dozens of affordable apartments for new teachers in the Baltimore public school system – an example of how our priorities are all connected.
The second is a the rehabilitation of the Proctor House in Bel Air, saving an historic Gothic Revival style building at the heart of historic Bel Air from what otherwise would have been almost certain demolition.
The third and fourth are two promising projects at the National Park Seminary at Forest Glen in Silver Spring, where once grand buildings are being restored to their historic appearance and converted into mixed-use condominiums, rental apartments, and single-family homes.
Our potential, our return to prosperity, our capacity for progress – they’re all connected, they all come back to jobs, and they matter to that big overarching goal of strengthening and growing the ranks of an increasingly diverse, upwardly mobile middle class.
Thank you all for joining us,… Up next we have Rodney Little from the Maryland Historical Trust.