Originally signed into law in 1997 and extended through December 31, 2011, Section 198’s Brownfields Tax Incentive is a tax deduction intended to encourage the cleanup and revitalization of brownfield properties. Under the incentive environmental cleanup costs are fully deductible in the year incurred, rather than capitalized and spread over time. Improvements in 2006 expanded the Incentive to include petroleum cleanup.
The incentive is scheduled to expire at the end of the year, but there’s a chance to save it. The National Brownfields Coalition is asking Congress to extend the Incentive as part of the Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act of 2012, more commonly known as the “tax extenders” bill.
The Incentive is already helping towns put contaminated land back in to productive reuse. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for example, the Incentive helped make possible the redevelopment of a former industrial site in the city’s historic Martin Luther King Drive Business Improvement District. The site is now home to new commercial and residential space, and has greatly added momentum to efforts within the Business Improvement District.