O’Malley Announces Community Tax Credits

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) –Changing lives with tax credits. Governor Martin O’Malley announces 10 projects that will benefit from an $11 million tax credit.

But as political reporter Pat Warren explains, the emphasis is on the people, not the projects.

On the surface it’s nothing but an eyesore: an abandoned factory neighbors remember had better days.

“Since I was a child this building’s been here,” said Troy Williams. “And I’ve seen it employ quite a few people over the years.”

Soon the old Hoen Lithograph Print Factory in East Baltimore could change the lives of people like Timothy Sheppard, who walked onto a similar project as a security guard and came out with his own security company.

The sustainable communities tax credit powered the redevelopment of the American Brewery in East Baltimore, which now employs Sheppard’s company. A similar tax credit was awarded to developers Friday for the Hoen building. 

“We have talented people that look at these old buildings, see these stones and see these structures and can really make them sing and hum again and become place for new jobs,” said O’Malley.

The American Brewery on North Gay Street is a prime example. The president and CEO of the nonprofit Humanim says the entire community benefits when these buildings are renovated.

“In this block here you’ll have two-three houses that are completely vacant where the rooms are falling in and then four or five where the residents have been good about keeping up their house. You have that real dichotomy,” said Henry Posko, Humanim Inc.

Probably the most recognizable building re-use is the Can Company in Canton. But many others are in the planning stages thanks to the tax credit.

“It’s exciting,” O’Malley said. “It’s taking the old and making it new and creating new opportunity.”

Sheppard is living proof.

“To look at it now and to go back and look at it then, it’s unbelievable,” Sheppard said. “Unbelievable, unbelievable.”

Tax credits were also awarded in Towson, Ellicott City and Hagerstown.

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