Gov. Jim Douglas announced the allocation of $1.8 million in tax credits for 19 Vermont communities to assist in the renovation or repair of buildings in downtowns and village centers last week.
Middlebury's former passenger train depot being renvated by Steve Dupoise's Trackside Depot LLC, received $42,992 in funds.
"These tax credits not only help invigorate the local economy, they help prevent devastating fires in our downtowns," Douglas said. "In addition to supporting the redevelopment of older and historic buildings, these credits encourage the installation of sprinklers, elevators and other safety upgrades."
The state tax credit program is available to older and historic buildings in designated downtowns and village centers, and is designed to work with the federal tax credit program to leverage a combined state-federal credit valued between 30 and 40 percent of eligible expenses.
The federal credits not only benefit the user, they boost state revenues from taxes on wages generated by new jobs and on sales of goods and services. "These projects help revitalize Vermont's downtowns and village centers as well as preserve Vermont's historic buildings," Douglas noted. "
To date, 23 downtowns and 99 village centers are designated and all older and historic buildings in these designated areas are eligible for these investment incentives.
To become a Designated Down town, communities must have both a downtown revitalization organization and demonstrate their commitment and capacity to support such a program, as well as meet several other requirements. Village Centers go through a similar, but abbreviated process. Designated communities become eligible to compete for funding for building rehabilitation and safety improvements, and transportation projects.
Middlebury was the only Addison County municipality to receive the funds.