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Vermont governor announces tax credit awards to projects that revitalize communities

Vermont Governor Phil Scott (file)
Pat Bradley
Vermont Governor Phil Scott (file)

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

This year Vermont’s Downtown and Village Center Tax Credit Program is providing a total of $4.35 million in state tax credits to projects that “enhance the historic character and improve building safety of older 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 downtowns and village centers are the lifeblood and key to growing the state’s economy.

“The Downtown and Village Center Tax Credit Program is a perfect example of one of the tools in our economic development toolbox that could be transformative. Altogether, with over $4 million going out the door, it will help generate over $95 million in building improvements and public infrastructure across the state. These investments have a tangible impact, support local businesses, create new housing and improve the resiliency of our community centers.”

Agency of Commerce and Community Development Secretary Lindsay Kurrle noted that in the past five years St. Albans has received nearly $800,000 from the program, leveraging it for over $26 million in construction activity.

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

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

“The TIF district I think is an example of what can happen across the state. We recognized this years ago and the Legislature has worked with us to expand the TIF districts. I think it’s incredibly important to continue to invest in these programs, to allow the expansion of TIF districts. Because it’s not just major cities and big communities, but the small ones as well. It’s equally as important to them where they desperately need some more investment in their downtowns and communities.”

Among the projects awarded tax credits are upgrades to a former Catholic parish hall for use as a fitness center in Arlington; accessibility improvements at the Brandon Free Library including installation of an elevator and exterior repairs to the St. Albans Museum.

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