June 13, 2008
DiNapoli Releases Brownfields Report
Tax Credits Only Part of the Solution
State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today released a report on New York State’s Brownfields Cleanup Program (BCP). DiNapoli’s report found that while the State has had moderate success cleaning up former industrial sites the State needs to consider refining the tax credit incentives for brownfield clean up and broadening the scope of its policies.
“Tax credits are not a magic broom that can sweep clean every brownfield in the State,” DiNapoli said. “Other states have cleaned up more of their brownfields using tighter tax credits. Right now, New York faces a potential $3.1 billion tax credit liability for brownfields clean up and redevelopment. The State needs to target these tax credits to make sure we get the right bang for all those bucks.”
DiNapoli’s report found that based on its performance over the last four years, the State’s BCP has achieved a number of measures of success, including:
In addition, DiNapoli noted that New York’s program has cleaned up far fewer sites than programs in neighboring states. New York State’s financial incentives are widely recognized to be both generous to applicants and costly for the State. Massachusetts (the state with the largest number of sites cleaned up), New Jersey and Pennsylvania have cleaned up more brownfields with more modest financial incentives.
DiNapoli said any efforts to reform financial incentives should be based on the BCP’s objectives of cleaning up and redeveloping former industrial sites in every region of the State. In addition, since the cost of cleanup of BCP sites is generally lower than redeveloping sites, the State could cut costs by following the tax policies of neighboring states.
DiNapoli’s report presents a number of options for improving New York’s cleanup program:
Click here for a copy of the report.