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Governor vetoes brownfield tax credit extension

Posted at 5:18 PM, Dec 30, 2014
and last updated 2015-12-25 17:18:10-05

The state's brownfield tax credit program has provided millions of dollars to help clean up contaminated pieces of land so they can be redeveloped. But on Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed an extension to that program.

The bill would have extended brownfield credits through 2017, and appropriated $300 million for it. Several local projects have used the credit to build on once-contaminated land, including Harborcenter and the Riverbend project.

A spokesman for Savarino Companies, a local developer, says they have two brownfield credits already approved, and this veto won't affect them but that future projects could be jeopardized.

That sentiment was echoed by Ellicott Development and Carl Paladino.

"The brownfield tax credit works. And it encourages people to clean up ground. We've got a couple applications in ourselves right now. I mean how many people or businesses are planning on using a piece of property that is otherwise contaminated? And without a brownfield program they can't possibly develop their land," Paladino said.

In a letter, the governor explained that he still supports the program but that he is looking to include a reformed version in his 2015-2016 budget.

In the mean time, several local developers tell 7 Eyewitness News that if there is no brownfield tax credit, those projects that are normally impossible to do because of site contamination will stay as impossible to do.

We reached out to the governor's office for further comment, but did not hear back.