FDEP Receives Record-Breaking Number of VCTC Applications – Highest Annual VCTC Amount Ever Requested – Demonstrates Brownfield Program Success



FEBRUARY 25, 2015 – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (“FDEP”) received a new record-breaking number of Voluntary Cleanup Tax Credit (“VCTC”) applications for the 2014 cycle for voluntary environmental cleanup work performed at Brownfield redevelopment sites and other eligible sites in Florida. The total application amount for the 2014 calendar year is the highest VCTC annual amount ever received by FDEP, demonstrating both strong participation in the State of Florida’s Brownfield and VCTC programs and the challenges posed by the large VCTC backlog.  If the applications are approved, the total backlog of VCTCs approved but not yet issued due to current statutory funding levels could reach over $21 million at this time, which translates to an approximate 4-year wait for tax credit issuance. For the 2014 calendar year, FDEP received a total of 86 VCTC applications, requesting approximately $9.38 million in tax credits, breaking the previous all-time high in annual VCTC application levels.  The previous year, FDEP received a total of 80 VCTC applications, approving $7.19 million in tax credits. The past two years were record-breaking since the VCTC program’s inception in 1998.  The VCTC program has a current annual state statutory funding limit of $5 million.  If FDEP approves more than $5 million in tax credits in a given year, the excess is deferred until the funding becomes available. “The continued trend of increased requests for voluntary cleanup tax credits demonstrates the success of the Florida Brownfields program in remediating contamination and bringing economic redevelopment to Florida’s Brownfield areas,” explained Nadia Locke, President of the Florida Brownfields Association (“FBA”).  Locke explained that “the FBA’s highest legislative priority in 2015 is to bring immediate relief to the VCTC backlog and to increase future funding allocations so that the Brownfield program continues to provide job creation, increased capital investment, site rehabilitation and quality of life enhancement.  Last week FBA members met with legislators who were very interested and supportive of resolving the backlog issue.” Background on Florida’s Brownfield and VCTC Programs As of the time of FDEP’s 2014 Annual Brownfield Report (data as of June 2014):

  • Local governments in Florida have designated 362 Brownfield areas,
  • Parties and redevelopers have entered into 202 voluntary Brownfield cleanup agreements,
  • 75 Brownfield sites have been cleaned up and closed, and
  • Since the inception of Florida’s Brownfield program in 1997, approximately $2.7 billion in capital investment has occurred in designated Brownfield areas and more than 50,000 confirmed and projected direct and indirect jobs have been created.

Florida’s VCTC program enables parties that voluntarily enter into a Brownfield Site Rehabilitation Agreement (“BSRA”) the opportunity to apply for Florida corporate income tax credits equal to a portion of the costs to complete cleanup activities at a Brownfield site.  When received, the tax credits are transferrable, which allows those that do not have Florida corporate income tax liability, including non-profits, local governments, and many small businesses, to recover portions of their environmental cleanup costs. HSA Golden is an expert in Brownfields sites as well as non-Brownfield assessment and remediation work.  Please call or email us for more information or to find out how we can help you.