New Britain, Conn. — Connecticut Rep. Elizabeth Esty announced she will introduce the Brownfields Redevelopment Tax Incentive Reauthorization Act to help encourage investment in the clean-up and redevelopment of brownfield sites. Brownfields are vacant or undeveloped areas, typically former industrial sites, where reuse is complicated by environmental contamination concerns.
“I hear over and over again from local leaders and business owners that one of the best ways we can revitalize our cities and towns is to support brownfield clean-up efforts,” said Rep. Esty. “Cities and towns throughout central and northwest Connecticut have strong industrial histories and are now in the process of transitioning to new sources of economic growth. I’m doing what I can to be a strong partner in these efforts.
“That’s why I’m introducing the Brownfields Redevelopment Tax Incentive Reauthorization Act, which reinstates tax incentives to help spur redevelopment. Business owners, developers, and local leaders have told me that the high costs of clean-up deter initial private sector investments. My bill would allow developers to deduct the additional costs. I’m also proud to lead efforts in Congress to fully fund the EPA Brownfields Program, which has funded over $6.9 million in brownfield clean-up projects in central and northwest Connecticut since 1998. Revitalizing our downtowns is critical to supporting economic growth and creating good-paying jobs right here in our state.”
Rep. Esty’s bill, the Brownfields Redevelopment Tax Incentive Reauthorization Act of 2014, reauthorizes a tax incentive program to allow taxpayers to fully deduct the costs of environmental cleanups on brownfields in the year the costs were incurred. Its purpose is to spur the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields and support job creation. The Brownfields Tax Incentive was first passed as part of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997. However, following a two-year extension in 2009, the incentive expired on January 1, 2012, and Congress has failed to reauthorize this tax incentive. If passed in to law, Rep. Esty’s legislation would reauthorize the tax incentive through December 31, 2018, providing four years of certainty for potential developers.
Rep. Esty also led the call this year to fully-fund the EPA’s Brownfields Program in the federal budget. The program provides grants to help cities and towns with brownfield remediation and clean-up.