ACCD rep to explain available tax credits for Shaftsbury Village Center businesses

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SHAFTSBURY — A representative from the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development will be visiting Shaftsbury this month to help residents take advantage of tax credits available to businesses located in the town's designated village centers.

Richard Amore, planning coordinator for the ACCD's Village Center Designation Program, will speak at Cole Hall on Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. According to Phylis Porio of the Economic Development Committee, Amore will give a presentation on how other village centers around the state are working to revitalize themselves.

The Economic Development Committee secured Vilage Center designations for two areas in the town in 2013. This program will focus on the second, designated the South Shaftsbury Village Center, which begins around Harrington Construction on Route 7A, and continues until the intersection with Daniels Road. It also covers Buck Hill Road up until about the town garage, and Church Street past the Bernstein Display property. The town's other designated village center is also on Route 7A, beginning around Shaftsbury Auto Body and continuing north to the Galusha Homestead. Maps of both areas are available on the ACCD website, accd.vermont.gov.

Among the benefits available to businesses in village centers are a additional 10 percent tax credit for already approved Federal Historic Tax Credit projects, a 25 percent tax credit on facade work up to $25,000, a 50 percent tax credit on certain code improvement projects (up to $50,000 each for elevators and sprinkler systems, $12,000 for lifts, and $25,000 for electrical or plumbing work), and a 50 percent tax credit on data and network improvement projects up to $30,000. Businesses within designated village centers also receive priority on state grant applications from certain agencies.

Shaftsbury's town center designations expire in 2018, and will then have to be renewed. The 2013 application was done with the help of the Bennington County Regional Commission. According to the ACCD, a village center is defined as, "the core of a traditional settlement, typically comprised of a cohesive mix of residential, civic, religious, commercial, and mixed use buildings, arranged along a main street and intersecting streets that are within walking distance for residents who live within and surrounding the core. Industrial uses may be found within or immediately adjacent to these centers. Village centers are typically smaller in scale than downtowns and are characterized by a development pattern that is consistent with smart growth principles."

To learn more about the state's Village Centers program, visit http://accd.vermont.gov/strong_communities/opportunities/revitalization/village_center.

Derek Carson can be reached for comment at 802-447-7567, ext. 122.


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