A. New economic development incentive program credits for chapter 62 and chapter 63 taxpayers that occupy previously vacant storefronts
The Economic Development Incentive Program (“EDIP”) is a tax incentive program designed to foster full-time job creation and stimulate business growth throughout the Commonwealth. Generally, pursuant to the EDIP, business and individual taxpayers may receive state and local tax incentives in exchange for job creation and investment commitments. The EDIP is administered by the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (the “EACC”), which is authorized to award up to $30,000,000 annually in EDIP tax credits. The Economic Development Act authorizes the EACC to, “by guideline or regulation, establish a program to incentivize businesses to occupy vacant storefronts in downtown areas.” Pursuant to this program, the EACC may award up to $500,000 of available EDIP tax credits annually, on a competitive basis, to businesses that occupy previously vacant storefronts. Unlike other EDIP tax credits, the businesses will not be required to invest in improvements or create new jobs. Rather, the businesses need only commit to occupying the previously vacant storefront for a period of not less than one year. In determining how to allocate the credits, the EACC will consider a variety of factors, including, but not limited to: (i) the number of jobs to be created, (ii) the volume of pedestrian traffic to be generated, (iii) potential synergy with other downtown businesses, (iv) whether there is a matching contribution from the municipality or landlord, (v) commitment to storefront improvements, and (vi) whether the municipality has made local plans or investments to revitalize the downtown. These changes are effective for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2019.
B. New Apprenticeship Tax Credit for Chapter 62 and 63 Taxpayers
The Economic Development Act adds new subsection (v) to Section 6 of G.L. c. 62, and new section 38HH to chapter 63, providing certain non-corporate and corporate employers a nontransferable, refundable credit against the personal income tax and corporate excise equal to the lesser of $4,800 or 50% of the wages paid to each qualified apprentice that the employer hires. The credit is available to any employer provided that: (1) the primary place of employment of the apprentice is in the Commonwealth; (2) the employer is registered with the division of apprentice standards as an apprenticeship program sponsor and has an apprentice agreement, as defined in G.L. c. 23 § 11H, with each apprentice for whom the credit is claimed; and (3) the apprentice is employed as an apprentice by the employer for at least 180 calendar days in the taxable year in which the credit is claimed.
Further, the apprentice must be hired and trained in one of the following occupations, as defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- computer occupations, as defined by Standard Occupational Codes (“SOC”) 15-1200;
- health technologists and technicians, as defined by SOC 29-2000;
- health practitioner support technologists and technicians, as defined by SOC 29-2050;
- healthcare support occupations, as defined by SOC 31-0000; or
- production occupations, as defined by SOC 51-0000, if employed in the manufacturing industry, i.e., North American Industry Classification System code 31-33.
Employers that claim the credit in a taxable year are eligible for an additional credit in the subsequent taxable year, provided that the division of apprentice standards certifies that the apprentice for whom the prior year’s credit was claimed remains employed as an apprentice during the subsequent taxable year. 
The Economic Development Act provides that when a credit is claimed by an employer that is a non-corporate entity, the credit shall be attributed on a pro rata basis to the owners, partners or members of the employer.
The Economic Development Act requires that the Commissioner of Revenue adopt regulations governing applications for and other administration of the apprenticeship tax credits.
The credit is available for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2019.
C. Modifications to the Abandoned Building Deduction for Chapter 62 and 63 Taxpayers
G.L. c. 62 § 3B(a)(10) and G.L. c. 63 § 38O allow individuals and business corporations to deduct from their adjusted gross income ten percent of the costs they incur for the renovation of certain abandoned buildings. Previously, the deduction was available only for improvements to abandoned buildings located in Economic Opportunity Areas (“EOA”), as designated by the EACC. However, in 2016, the legislature enacted An Act Relative To Job Creation And Workforce Development, which eliminated the EOA requirement, and inserted the requirement that the EACC need only “certify” a project. The Economic Development Act amends G.L. c. 62 § 3B(a)(10) and G.L. c. 63 § 38O so that they align with the 2016 legislative changes. These changes are effective for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2019.
/s/Christopher C. Harding
Christopher C. Harding
Commissioner of Revenue
December 5, 2018