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Gov. O'Malley awards $5M in HSR tax credits, seeks $50M for new sustainable tax credit program

Gov. Martin O'Malley hopes to create a new tax credit he believes will boost smart and sustainable growth in Maryland's historic areas and existing communities well-served by transit and infrastructure. The Sustainable Communities Tax Credit program, $50 million, three-year program, will help create construction and rehabilitation jobs, revitalize neighborhoods, and spur economic development with each project.

The new program will replace and improve upon the 14-year-old Heritage Structure Rehabilitation Tax Credit program, which is set to expire in June.

"The program represents the best of public investment and private enterprise as we continue to seek ways to fuel economic growth and create jobs," says Gov. 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."

The existing Heritage Tax Credit 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.

A report last year by the non-profit Abell Foundation concluded that commercial projects over the life of the program have employed roughly 15,120 people, earning $673.1 million in 2009 dollars. The state's tax credit investment in labor-intensive building renovation has generated 1,850 more jobs than would have been created had the same funds been used for new construction, the foundation reported.

The governor also revealed the latest recipients of some $5 million in Maryland Heritage Structure Rehabilitation Tax Credits for four projects in Central Maryland. Receiving awards. They include:

  • Union Mill in Baltimore City: $2,920,000 tax credit for $20,000,000 project by Seawall Development Company to turn vacant manufacturing structure into residential and commercial space.
  • Proctor House in Bel Air: $100,000 tax credit for $500,000 project by Kelly Financial Group, LLC to turn vacant/storage space into commercial offices.
  • Two projects at the National Park Seminary development in Silver Spring: $800,000 tax credit for $4,000,000 project by the Alexander Company to turn vacant gymnasium into 12 residences. And $1,180,000 tax credit for $5,900,000 by the Alexander Company to turn vacant space and utility structures into 15 residential units.

"New legislation for 2010 seeks to strengthen the effectiveness of the tax credit program as an incentive for smart and sustainable growth," says Maryland Secretary of Planning Richard E. Hall, who chairs the Governor's Smart Growth Subcabinet. "By expanding program eligibility and coordinating it more closely with related state programs, the tax credit will benefit more communities across the state as a critical redevelopment and revitalization tool. One of Maryland's most effective Smart, Green & Growing tools should not be allowed to sunset this year."

Source: State of Maryland, Department of Planning
Writer: Walaika Haskins

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