House Bill 1005 enhances the Industrial Recovery Income Tax Credit, also known as the Dinosaur Building Tax Credit, to provide an incentive for companies to use existing facilities in need of significant rehabilitation to help revitalize hard-hit communities.
"This bill is about jobs," Rep. Clere said. "All vacant industrial buildings have at least one thing in common: They once housed jobs. With this legislation, local communities will have another tool for attracting new jobs to those buildings.
Rep. Clere said the expansion of the credit will do more than just create jobs.
Rep. Clere's original bill passed the House with a threshold of 25,000 more feet. The Senate amended the threshold to 100,000 square feet. Rep. Clere chaired a House-Senate conference committee to reconcile the differences.
The legislation would lower the interior square footage threshold from at least 250,000 square feet to 50,000 square feet. It would also lower the vacancy threshold from 75 percent for two years to 50 percent for one year, and the years the facility must have been in service from 20 years to 15 years.
"Lowering the threshold makes the credit a potential tool for promoting the reuse of 200 or more additional vacant buildings statewide. The lower threshold is especially important for smaller communities."
The legislative body of a municipality or county must designate the facility as an industrial recovery site and work with the municipal or county executive to put together an application to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC).
The IEDC makes the final determination for eligibility for a tax credit based on several factors, such as: the level of distress in the surrounding community caused by the loss of jobs at the vacant facility; evidence support for the designation by residents, businesses and private organizations; and the likelihood that the credit will improve the economic and employment conditions.
According to IEDC data, at least 250 buildings statewide would be eligible for the tax credit.
"It's not an open-ended credit. It requires buy-in from both local government officials and the IEDC. It's only offered if it would help create jobs that otherwise wouldn't be created. If the credit is claimed, it means jobs have been created, and I welcome that fiscal impact."
The bill now goes to the governor's office.