Today I testified at a legislative hearing in support of An Act Relative to Infrastructure Investment, Enhanced Competitiveness & Economic Growth in the Commonwealth (H. 4093), a comprehensive piece of legislation designed to stimulate job growth in Massachusetts. Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo and Representative Joseph Wagner, House Chairman of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, released the bill earlier this week. NAIOP applauds the House and the Patrick Administration for crafting a bill that will encourage economic development in Massachusetts.
We are just starting to see the beginning of a recovery for the real estate industry, but it is still a very fragile time. This bill creates the necessary tools to ensure economic development projects can move forward. It builds on the comprehensive Economic Development Plan released by the Patrick Administration earlier this year. It expands and strengthens I-cubed, preserves important state and local permitting decisions, and encourages the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield sites. We strongly support its passage before the close of the legislative session on July 31.
The bill includes many NAIOP-supported concepts including:
- Creates a new Local Infrastructure Development Program that gives municipalities a new tool for leveraging private funding to finance infrastructure improvements needed to support economic development projects. The program allows infrastructure projects to move forward without the use of public funding.
- Expands the successful I-cubed (Infrastructure Investment Incentive) program and increases the number of projects per community from two to four. It also increases the available funding for the program.
- Extends the Brownfield Tax Credit from 2013 to 2015, encouraging the redevelopment of brownfield sites by bringing more certainty and predictability to the process.
- Streamlines District Improvement Financing (DIF) by eliminating the required EACC review of DIF districts and development plans, making the program more accessible to cities and towns.