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Published on Friday, January 18, 2013

Proposal for revitalization of abandoned or vacant properties

Rep. Appleton (D-Pouslbo) has introduced a proposal (HB 1079) authorizing the Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) to provide no-interest loans for financing the cost of public facilities. The purpose it to encourage the revitalization of existing retail, industrial, or commercial properties located in an urban growth area that have been abandoned, or for which more than 75 percent of the square footage is vacant.

The program would have the following parameters:

  • A loan to a municipality is capped at $2 million per project.
  • A maximum of $10 million, plus funds available from loan repayments, may be appropriated per biennium.
  • Loan repayment must begin five years from the date of the loan and be fully repaid within 10 years.
  • If a city, county, or town fails to meet its repayment obligations, the State Treasurer is directed to transfer local sales and use taxes sufficient to make equal monthly payments of principal over the remaining term.

The project must:

  • Be part of a local economic development plan.
  • Demonstrate feasibility using standard economic principles.
  • Show local match and local participation in its application.
  • Be approved by the municipality and supported by the local associate development organization or local workforce development council.

Please provide feedback on this proposal to Dave Catterson. The bill is currently scheduled for public hearing in the House Community Development, Housing & Tribal Affairs Committee and at 8am on January 23.