News and Insights

New York Extends and Reforms Tax Credit Program for Environmental Remediation of “Brownfields”

Tax Development Apr 07, 2015

On April 1, 2015, New York’s Senate passed Senate Bill 2006 (“S.B. 2006”), the state’s $142 billion budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. The budget covers a wide range of issues, with Governor Andrew Cuomo touting the “landmark” reforms in the areas of education and investment ethics.

One such noteworthy investment reform concerns the Brownfields Cleanup Program (BCP), which incentivizes private sector investment in environmentally jeopardized property. Specifically, the BCP uses tax credits available for tangible property and remediation costs to encourage redevelopment of “brownfields,” which are sites contaminated by hazardous waste or petroleum.

The BCP was set to expire on December 31st, and while the 2015-2016 budget extends the program for ten years, it also reduces the scope of the available tax credits. For cities with a population of one million or more, like New York City, the BCP will only apply to affordable housing projects, upside-down or underutilized properties, or sites where at least half of the area is a specially designated “environmental zone.” Additional changes were made to the remediation tax credit available through the program, limiting costs available for the credit to actual cleanup; where before, all site preparation/construction costs were eligible.

The Senate delivered the budget to the Governor on April 1st, and the Governor is expected to sign the bill before April 13th, when it would automatically become law without his action. In addition to New York, other states and the Federal government have credits for brownfield clean-up costs that should be evaluated.


Thomas Stringer

Allea Newbold