By Donald T. Ross

At the conclusion of its annual 2013-14 session, the New York State Legislature passed an extender (S. 7878) to the New York State Brownfields Cleanup Program (BCP) tax credits.

The BCP tax credits, which were first enacted into law in 2003, incentivize remediation and redevelopment of contaminated sites by providing credits against New York State personal or corporate income tax credits for expenditures related to cleanup and site preparation, new construction, job creation, and real property taxes paid on remediated sites.

The BCP tax credit program was scheduled to expire on December 31, 2015, but lawmakers were unable to reach a deal on wide-ranging reforms to the program sought by both the business and environmental communities; therefore the existing  program expiration was merely extended to March 31, 2017.  No other substantive changes were made to the BCP.

A business participating in the BCP program qualifies for the tax credits once a certificate of completion is received from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).  Given that a typical DEC-administered cleanup plan may take at least two years, if not more, a business interested in purchasing and/or remediating a contaminated site should plan to apply for the program as soon as possible.  Regardless of what shape the final reforms take in 2017, it is likely that the barriers to entry will be more restrictive and the program less generous.

Governor Cuomo has indicated recently that he will sign the bill, however as of this writing it has not been delivered by the Legislature for his signature.