WXXI AM News

Ending historic tax credits would harm cities, says Cuomo official

Nov 13, 2017

The state’s top economic development official says a plan in Congress to eliminate the historic tax credit program  would harm efforts to revitalize cities in New York.

Empire State Development Chair Howard Zemsky , testifying at an Assembly hearing,  says the tax incentives have been used to rehab crumbling historic buildings into shops and living spaces, and “have had a huge impact on driving economic development” . The program gives developers a tax rebate of 20% for five years after the projects are completed. Zemsky says it’s misguided to end the subsidies.

“It has a disproportionately negative impact on older cities and upstate cities,” Zemsky said. “I’m hopeful that we can save that.”

The House version of tax overhaul would eliminate the program altogether, the Senate plan would keep the historic tax credit, but at a reduced rate.