Vermont Governor Announces Tax Credits for Projects That Revitalize Communities

Vermont Governor Phil Scott was in St. Albans on Tuesday to announce the projects that will receive financial support under a state tax incentive program.

This year, Vermont’s Downtown and Village Tax Credit Program is providing a total of $4.35 million in state tax credits to projects that “enhance historic character and enhance the security of old and historic commercial and community buildings” in qualified communities.

Scott, a Republican, was in St. Albans to announce the 49 projects that will receive the incentives. He said town centers and village centers are the cornerstone and key to growing the state’s economy.

“The Town and Village Center Tax Credit program is a perfect example of one tool in our economic development toolkit that could be transformative. In total, with more than $4 million spent, this will help generate more than $95 million in building improvements and public infrastructure across the state. These investments are having a tangible impact, supporting local businesses, creating new housing and improving the resilience of our community centres.

Commerce and Community Development Agency Secretary Lindsay Kurrle noted that over the past five years, St. Albans has received nearly $800,000 from the program, which has helped it generate more than 26 million dollars in construction activities.

“Beyond the dollars, new housing, rejuvenated economic activity and ambitious investments in public infrastructure here in St. Albans show what can be accomplished when we work with partners at the local, state and federal levels. And this work is critical to the long-term health and sustainability of communities like St. Albans. This year, we saw a record number of awards for projects that will impact communities in 13 counties. The 49 projects vary in scale and scope, but the underlying theme is thoughtful and creative projects that aim to revitalize and rejuvenate properties.

Governor Scott noted that the program works as a supplement to TIF, or Tax Increment Financing, to rejuvenate communities.

“I think the TIF District is an example of what can happen statewide. We recognized this years ago and the Legislature has worked with us to expand TIF districts. I think it is extremely important to continue to invest in these programs, to enable the expansion of TIF districts. Because it’s not just big cities and communities, it’s also small ones. It’s just as important to them, because they desperately need more investment in their downtowns and communities.

Among the projects receiving tax credits are upgrading a former Catholic church hall for use as a fitness center in Arlington; improved accessibility to the Brandon Free Library, including the installation of an elevator and exterior repairs to the St. Albans Museum.