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Vermont tops for use of Federal Historic Tax Credits

Posted by: VHFA on 1/14/2010

union squareA new federal report shows Vermont is the top state, per capita, for its use of Federal Historic Tax Credits to rehabilitate historic buildings.

Regardless of population, the Green Mountain State is number 10 in the country, up from number 12 a year ago.

Over the last decade, the tax credits have been responsible in Vermont for rehabilitation of everything from small storefronts to major downtown redevelopments.

Last fiscal year, 34 rehab projects in Vermont received $4.6 million in federal tax credits. The properties had a total construction value of more than $23 million.

Over the last year, a number of VHFA multifamily projects benefited from the Historic Tax Credit, including:

  • Union Square (formerly Armory Square) (pictured), Windsor
  • Bellows Falls Family Housing (aka Williams & South), Bellows Falls
  • Abbott Neighborhood Housing, Brattleboro
  • North Branch Apartments, Montpelier

Kevin Dorn, Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development and a VHFA Commissioner, credits Vermont's high ranking to its decision to require those seeking state Historic Tax Credits to first secure federal credits.

"Combining the programs not only leverages the economic impact of the state's investment, it helps mitigate this risk and convinces more property owners to undertake historic rehabilitation projects in our downtowns and villages," he says.

Renovating historic buildings reduces the loss of open space and farm lands to new development and makes use of existing infrastructure, eliminating the need to construct new sewer and water services.

And, when focused on downtowns and village centers, redeveloped housing reduces dependence on cars, saving energy and improving air quality.