Two Smart Incentives partners provide valuable resources to economic developers seeking guidance on how to finance redevelopment of brownfields in their communities.
Brownfields are abandoned or underused sites with real or perceived environmental contamination. Revitalizing these sites and bringing them into productive use is important to many community economic development programs. Several financing tools, including tax incentives, are available to help.
The Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) offers the Brownfields Technical Assistance Program. Under a grant from the US EPA, CDFA provides education, resources, research and networking on tools available for redevelopment finance. These financing tools include revolving loan funds, tax incentives, and tax increment finance, among others. CDFA offers a Brownfields Financing Webinar Series and hosts the Brownfields Project Marketplace.
CDFA also recently released a report on Financing Mechanisms for Addressing Remediation of Site Contamination for the World Bank. The report provides valuable information on bond finance programs, loan fund programs, tax increment and special assessment finance programs, tax credit and incentive programs, grant financing, and emerging finance models. This guide includes assessments of the strengths and weaknesses of each approach and useful case studies.
The ICMA Center for Sustainable Communities covers brownfield revitalization as part of its overall mission to provide resources and technical assistance related to sustainability and local government management. Much useful information is also available through the Knowledge Network brownfields topic page.
As part of ICMA’s work in this arena, the National Brownfields Training Conference will be held September 2-4, 2015, in Chicago. Organized by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and ICMA, this conference and trade show focuses on environmental revitalization and economic redevelopment. The conference “empowers key stakeholders to share knowledge and develop partnerships that will help transform their communities.” Over 6,000 participants are expected to attend this important event to “seek out solutions, strategies, and redevelopment options.”