Capital Region leaders tout historic tax credit

November 19, 2017 09:26 PM

TROY -- It was originally a department store in its heyday. Then the Old Quackenbush building in Troy was a pharmacy. Over time, it was boarded up and falling apart.

Until three years ago.

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"Three years ago, it was identified as the new location for the Tech Valley Center of Gravity," said Holly Cargill-Cramer of the Tech Valley Center of Gravity.

The Tech Valley Center of Gravity is an incubator for new and growing tech businesses. It took more than $7 million to bring the old building back to life. But without the historic tax credit -- nearly half a million dollars worth -- the renovations wouldn't have happened.

"It's a significant benefit and really encouraged the developers to put their money into the project," said Cargill-Cramer.

Rep. Paul Tonko wanted to highlight the significance of the tax credit, saying it's eliminated in the tax bill the House of Representatives just approved last week.

"It's why I denounced this bill when it was on the House floor," he said.

Tonko, along with Assem. John McDonald and Troy Mayor Patrick Madden, say the elimination would be detrimental to many Capital Region communities with historic buildings. They say the tax credit inspired private investments.

"We're attracting people to come to our area, to live here, to re-purpose and revitalize buildings like this, the Harmony Mills in Cohoes, the Tilly's Lofts in Watervliet, and the Albany Barn in Albany," McDonald said. "I can go on and on and on."

It's not just the Capital Region. They say the credit has been critical for preservation in the entire country.

"It's responsible for saving more than 42,000 buildings, many of them in communities like Troy that have suffered disinvestment in the 20th century," Madden said.

They're calling on Capitol Hill to make sure the tax credit doesn't go away.


WNYT Staff

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