We should incentivize asbestos remediation

Any significant redevelopment effort usually includes asbestos remediation.

Seeing as how asbestos remediation is very tedious and very expensive work, and is often a deterrent to moving forward with a redevelopment plan, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership has long advocated for a state incentive program to encourage asbestos remediation.

We are pleased to report that the New York State Senate acted late last week on such a plan.

The Senate overwhelming passed a bill that would provide developers and homeowners a 20 percent tax credit for asbestos removal costs.

cranes downtownThe bill caps the credit at $1 million over a three year period and was sponsored by Senator Rob Ortt from Niagara County.

Dottie Gallagher-Cohen, President & CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, praised the bill’s passage, saying,Providing incentives for remediating asbestos is critical if we are ever going to fully realize the potential of Western New York’s old building stock and capitalize on the current momentum of redevelopment happening in our community. Asbestos remediation is incredibly expensive work and without tax credits, developers will think twice about rehabbing a building with asbestos that is currently a stain on a neighborhood. With the recent long-term extension of the Brownfield Cleanup Program, meaningful incentives for asbestos remediation would be the one-two punch we truly need to spark investment, especially in our older neighborhoods.”

The Partnership strongly advocates for smart growth practices so we can concentrate precious private and public sector investments in already developed neighborhoods.

The cost of asbestos remediation is a hurdle to effective smart growth.

Providing tax credits or other incentives for property owners who tackle an asbestos remediation project is a critical component of encouraging redevelopment, and will help tackle the blight currently found in older neighborhoods throughout Western New York.

crane for scaffold law postThe need to incentivize asbestos remediation is not a partisan issue and has broad support from local elected officials of both parties.

Every State Senator from Western New York – both Republican and Democrat – voted in favor of Senator Ortt’s bill last week. The ‘same as’ bill in the State Assembly is sponsored by Assemblyman Sean Ryan of Buffalo.

The Partnership encourages the other members of the local Assembly delegation to co-sponsor the legislation and help Assemblyman Ryan push for its passage.

Providing incentives for asbestos remediation will help change the local landscape and provide state leaders another opportunity to show they are serious about investing in the future of Buffalo Niagara.

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About Grant Loomis

Vice President, Government Affairs