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Guthire Bill would Offer Tax Breaks for Mill, Manufacturing Rehab Projects

The Guthrie bill has been referred to the House Committee on Finance. More than 60 members of the House of Representatives have signed on as co-sponsors of the bill.

The old red-brick mill may have played a vital role in the region’s history and development, but many of those manufacturing facilities still standing today in Rhode Island have experienced high vacancy rates and physical deterioration.
           
“Without adding economic incentives, these structures are not viable for redevelopment and reuse by modern commercial, manufacturing enterprises and will, sadly, continue their physical decline,” said Rep. Scott J. Guthrie (D-Dist. 28, Coventry). “By offering economic incentives to rehab these old mills and manufacturing facilities, we will not only be preserving part of our past but also stimulating economic development and growth in our state and, perhaps, we will see manufacturing jobs return to Rhode Island.”
           
“With manufacturing jobs finally returning to the United States, it would be outstanding if we could position Rhode Island to attract those jobs,” he said. “We need to make Rhode Island a destination for those jobs by offering companies a solid, financial reason to come here and I believe a bill I have introduced will say to these companies that we welcome their business.”
           
Representative Guthrie has introduced legislation, 2014-H 7983, to establish new tax credits as incentives to owners to rehabilitate manufacturing facilities and put them into operation. The program would be operated by the Department of Revenue, with input and assistance from the State Building Code Commission and Secretary of Commerce.
           
The bill proposes that, any owner (person, firm, partnership, etc.) of a manufacturing facility that incurs rehabilitation expenses for a structure or some identifiable portion of a structure placed in service on or after January 1, 2015, would receive a 30 percent credit on taxes imposed on the person or entity owning the building for the actual qualified rehabilitation expenses.
           
According to the National Association of Manufacturers, manufacturing accounts for 70 percent of Rhode Island’s exports. But since 2003, Rhode Island manufacturing exports grew only 33 percent while the national average was a 70 percent increase.
           
“We have buildings available, and we have millions of square-feet of space available, but the buildings need to be rehabilitated to handle the high-tech, emerging manufacturing jobs of the future,” said Representative Guthrie. “Our state has lost many manufacturing jobs over the years and it is time to bring them back, to improve our overall economic base and to provide good quality manufacturing jobs for our citizens.”
 
“As we strive to educate a workforce to do these new jobs, we need to encourage manufacturers to come to Rhode Island to create those jobs,” he said. “I believe this legislation and the proposed tax incentive can help accomplish that.”

The Guthrie bill has been referred to the House Committee on Finance. More than 60 members of the House of Representatives have signed on as co-sponsors of the bill.
Steve Fay April 11, 2014 at 01:14 PM
Great vision and a solution to the job issue here in this state. Thank you representative for brushing aside all the nonsense and doing the "people's" work for a better community. For all those who disagree fine, attack me don't attack this man for you have no idea what he has been through and must endure constantly!

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