Assemblyman Brindisi, Mayor Palmieri Ask Congresswoman Tenney to Save Valuable Federal Historic Tax Credit Program That Has Helped Revitalize Utica and Other Upstate Cities

Stanley Theater and Other Regional Projects Have Benefitted From This Program
November 15, 2017

Utica – Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi of Utica and Utica Mayor Robert M. Palmieri say the proposed elimination of the Federal Historic Tax Credit Program under the House tax reform plan would gut a valuable program that is a significant reason for the continued revitalization of Utica and other upstate cities.

Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi said: “The Federal Historic Tax Credit Program has significantly helped improve our communities in the Mohawk Valley and upstate New York. For every dollar invested in fixing up historic buildings under this program, about $1.25 returns to the local communities. These projects create jobs, and are encouraging entrepreneurs to invest in our downtowns. Young people are discovering the advantages of living downtown, where there’s more going on. It simply makes no sense to discard a program that is breathing new life into our state’s smaller cities, and I would urge Congresswoman Tenney and the rest of the New York delegation to vote no on this plan.”

The following is the text of Brindisi and Palmieri’s letter to Tenney:

Dear Congresswoman Tenney:

We are writing today to urge you to vote against a proposal that is part of the House Republican leadership’s tax reform plan that would eliminate the Federal Historic Tax Credit program.

This proposal would be particularly harmful to many communities in the Mohawk Valley and other regions of Upstate New York. The 20 percent credit for certified historic buildings and the 10 percent credit for the renovation of non-historic buildings built before 1936 are valuable tools for states and municipalities encouraging investors to find new uses for underutilized properties.

Over the past several years, developers renovating the former Security Building at 120-126 Bleecker Street and the New Century Club building at 253 Genesee Street, both in Utica, have utilized federal tax credits for historic properties as part of their redevelopment plan. In 2009, The Stanley Theater in Utica utilized historic tax credits for major rehabilitation work that has helped the theater bring in more productions. And between 2004 and 2015, developers in Binghamton utilized historic tax credits for six commercial and housing projects in the downtown district.

Many of the projects qualifying for this valuable program over the past 15 years have been in our small cities. The program has aided in the rehabilitation of over 42,000 historic buildings, creating more than 2.4 million jobs. You can look at the recent investment in many smaller upstate cities, and see that the recent increase in economic activity has been due in no small part to this program.

With the recent listing of the Bagg’s Square East neighborhood, and with the nomination of the Upper Genesee Street Historic District, both in Utica, this is a program that could continue to bring economic benefits to our region, and also continue the impressive revitalization of our area. We would respectfully ask you to do everything possible to preserve the Federal Historic Tax Credit program, which has been a vital part of the significant rebirth of the Mohawk Valley region.

Thank you very much for your attention to this very important matter.

Sincerely,

Anthony Brindisi
Member of Assembly

Robert M. Palmieri
Mayor, City of Utica