House committee OKs Freeman bill to redevelop vacant factories

en flag
es flag

HARRISBURG, June 27 – New state tax incentives would be created to promote redevelopment and reuse of abandoned or neglected factory or mill buildings in Pennsylvania under legislation reported out of the House Finance Committee by a bipartisan 23-2 vote, according to the bill’s author state Rep. Robert Freeman.

“Using a building for the purpose other than what it was originally intended for is a way to reuse buildings that have stood in our communities for decades. Some of the buildings have been around for more than 100 years. They might be neglected, but they are still standing,” said Freeman, D-Northampton. “My bill would provide an incentive to breathe new life into these buildings – many of which are part of a community’s heritage and identity.

“Repurposing an old factory or mill for retail, office or arts space, or transforming them into apartments, encourages economic development and improves the quality of life of a community.”

The bipartisan legislation (H.B. 653) would establish three types of tax incentives:

  • A 25% tax credit for the rehabilitation and reconstruction costs incurred by the owner.
  • A business tax credit equal to the salaries and wages paid to full-time employees, up to a maximum of $2,500 per employee for up to three years.
  • The loan holder also would be eligible for a 100% tax credit, up to $25,000 per taxable year, on interest from loans for substantial rehabilitation.

The program would be capped at $13 million and administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

Freeman said adaptive reuse isn’t a new concept and has been successfully applied in revitalization efforts in many communities. He pointed to the number of old industrial buildings around the Lehigh Valley that have been repurposed. The Silk Mill on North 13th Street in Easton is one example of adaptive reuse of an old factory complex that has been a great success.

The legislation moves to the full House of Representatives for consideration.


Information provided to TVL by:
Tom Andrews
House Democratic Communications Office