Downtown and Village Center tax credits available

One of the primary benefits that comes from a municipality applying with the State of Vermont to designate an area as a Downtown or as a Village Center is the Downtown and Village Center tax credit program. The tax credit program was designed to support revitalization in community centers across the state.

Chester Village Center boundary map

Chester Village Center boundary map

In 2015, $2,200,000 worth of state income tax credits are available to projects that enhance the historic character and improve building safety of older and historic commercial buildings in these designated communities. The credits support general rehabilitation work, code compliance work, data and network wiring, and exterior improvements, and may be combined with the federal rehabilitation tax credit program.  Only income producing buildings are eligible for the programs, but that can include rentals and bed and breakfasts and other combinations of residential and commercial uses. Single family homes and buildings owned by governments or religious organizations are not eligible.

This year, legislative changes to the program added a new tax credit of up to $40,000  for affordable elevators known as LULAs (Limited Use Limited Application), and raised the cap for state building code-required improvements from $25,000 to $50,000.

According to the state website, there are several designations in our area. Click on one of these communities to see a map of the designated area:

There are also designations for Weston, Saxtons River, Jamaica and Peru but because these are older designations, there are no links for the boundary maps on the website. Those maps should be available at the town clerk’s office in any of these towns.

Applications for the next round of tax credits are due July 1, 2015 by 4:30 pm and the Vermont Downtown Board will make is allocation decisions when it meets July 27, 2015. The guidelines and an application are now available on The Agency of Commerce and Community Development’s website. Applications can be submitted electronically to or to: Caitlin Corkins, State of Vermont, Division for Community Planning & Revitalization, One National Life Drive, Davis Building, 6th Floor, Montpelier, VT 05620-0501.

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