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Published on Friday, February 10, 2017

Bills would allow for greater participation in Main Street Program

HB 1343/SB 5135 would increase the tax credit limit for the Main Street tax incentive program from $1.5 million to $5 million.

The Main Street Program was created in 2005 to provide assistance for local comprehensive downtown or neighborhood commercial district revitalization initiatives. The Program is operated by the Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation who provides initial site evaluations by technical specialists, training for local programs and staff, as well as design and implementation assistance to local governments and organizations for revitalization programs. The Department also may provide financial assistance for initial start-up costs for a local program.

The tax incentive program is administered by the Department of Revenue (DOR) and allows persons making contributions to a designated local Main Street program, or generally to the Main Street Trust Fund Account, to claim a tax credit on the state business & occupation tax or public utility tax.

Under HB 1348/SB 5135 the DOR allocates the total amount of statewide tax credits equally among all local programs and the Trust Fund. Allocations may exceed the $100,000 limit on tax credits for a local program, but a person must make a qualifying contribution to a local program, or the Trust Fund, by November 15 of the year that the DOR approved the contribution, or the tax credit is forfeited.

AWC is supportive of this legislation as the current $1.5 million cap is limiting the effectiveness of this program. Raising the cap would allow for participation by more cities and more businesses.