New Chance for Old Idea: Senators Call for Historic Tax Credits to Renovate Schools | Government-and-politics


But the federal tax code generally prohibits nonprofit entities from using federal tax credits for their own benefit and that of private investors under complicated sale-leaseback agreements. The rules aim to prevent the “trafficking of tax advantages”.

Dan Gecker, a Richmond-area lawyer and developer who represented the two projects, devised a legal way around the ban by creating flow-through entities to encourage private investment in projects that would be used by regional partners, and not by the towns which previously had the high school buildings.

Gecker, now chairman of the Virginia Board of Education, sits on the Commission on School Construction and Modernization, which met Wednesday in Richmond to learn more about the extent of the challenges local school districts face in renovating. or the replacement of obsolete buildings.

“Ultimately, it’s a good idea to allow the use of federal and state tax credits,” he said in an interview on Wednesday. “The renovation of these buildings is a civic good.

Buildings are important parts of communities, he said, and renovating them is much more efficient and less expensive than replacing them entirely.

However, Gecker added, “This won’t solve everyone’s problem.”

More than half of Virginia’s public school buildings are over 50 years old and their replacement would cost as much as $ 25 billion, the Virginia Department of Education estimated earlier this year. State Superintendent James Lane told the commission on Monday that the top three priorities for the state’s school divisions are repairing and replacing heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; roof renovations, repair and replacement.

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