Follow The Money: Learn About The New Procedures Around the Brownfields Tax Credit

To update and improve the Brownfields Tax Credit (BTC) application and approval process, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (MassDOR) has issued final regulations and new administrative procedures governing credit applications received on or after July 9, 2021.  

The BTC is a non-refundable tax credit allowed to “Eligible Persons,” as that term is defined under the Massachusetts Oil and Hazardous Material Release Prevention and Response Act (Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 21E), for a percentage of costs incurred in achieving a Permanent Solution (or Remedy Operation Status) in remediating contaminated property that is located in an economically distressed area and owned or leased for business purposes.  The credit is equivalent to 25% of Response Costs under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP) if site closure relies on an activity and use limitation (AUL), and 50% of those costs for sites without an AUL.  To be eligible for the credit, the costs (less any reimbursements received) must total at least 15 percent of the assessed value of the property before remediation.

GZA and New England Economic Development Corp. (NEED) have prepared a 60-minute presentation summarizing the main elements of the BTC and the associated updated regulations and administrative procedures.  This talk, which can be presented in a “lunchtime learning” format, includes the following topics:

  1. BTC Program Background:
    1. Who’s eligible?
    2. Other program eligibility requirements
    3. What costs are eligible?
    4. 50% vs. 25% cost credits
  2. New Regulation:
    1. Eligible Costs Clarification
    2. Documents Necessary for Application
    3. Computing the 15% Assessed Valuation Test
    4. Expedited Review for Projects Under $250,000
    5. Scope of Review on Appeal
    6. Denial Explanation
    7. Building Demolition Expenses
    8. Asbestos Eligibility
    9. Historic Fill
    10. Multiple Releases 
    11. Loss of Other Tax Benefits
    12. Claw-back of Credits
    13. m.    Effective Date of Regulation
  3. Administrative Guidance:
    1. Intake Timeline 
    2. Intake Narrative
    3. Review Process Updates
    4. Expedited Timeline 
    5. Appeals Timeline
  4. Additional Resources: Staffing
  5. Public Engagement: Revisit Regulation in 2 Years

This presentation is intended for corporate, commercial real estate, and environmental attorneys; property developers; and municipal economic development leaders who are interested in learning how to better position their blighted properties and make them more attractive for redevelopment.