Electric and Gas Economic Development Incentives

Through it’s municipally-owned utility company, Holyoke has the ability to offer renewable hydro electricity at one of the lowest rates in all of New England, as well as gas and broadband service to businesses. On top of the incredibly low costs, the HG&E has the ability to offer up to 20% discounts for the first three years of service to any new business locating in Holyoke.

Center City Housing Incentive Program (HDIP)

The Center City Housing Incentive Program (CCHIP) was created and approved to take advantage of the Massachusetts Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP) established by M.G.L. Ch.40V, to spur residential development, expand the diversity of housing stock in the Zone, support economic development and promote neighborhood stabilization.  Project Sponsors within the CCHIP Zone in the City of Holyoke would be eligible for a 10-year, 100% local tax exemption on increased valuation and additional state tax incentives when undertaking substantial rehabilitation of properties for lease or sale as multi-unit market rate housing.

Liquor Licenses for New Restaurants

To facilitate the creation of new restaurants in downtown Holyoke, 13 new liquor licenses were created in August 2014. Designated specifically the four neighborhoods that comprise the Center City of Holyoke’s Urban Renewal Plan, the licenses are designed to provide new development and jobs while enhancing the vibrancy of the urban core. Licenses will only be used for restaurants. These licenses are available for a one time fee of $10,000, which will in turn be used to fund other economic development projects in downtown.

Industrial Loan Program

The Holyoke Economic Development and Industrial Corporation (HEDIC) provides low interest financing to qualified industrial businesses.  To be eligible a firm must be a new or expanding industrial business; the capital loaned must be for fixed asset acquisition, construction and/or capital.

Workforce Development

Looking for skilled workers & quality employees?  Look no further than MassHire Holyoke Career Center, Holyoke’s one-stop career center. Dedicated business account representatives are available to assist in growing your business by connecting you with federal and state funded programs like On the Job Training and Work Opportunity Tax Credits, as well as pre-screening candidates for open positions in your business and much more.

Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ)

This niche program can be a great opportunity for manufacturers looking to expand their operations by importing or exporting products internationally.

Tax Incentives

Tax Increment Financing (TIF)

The City and the prospective Certified Project candidate agree to a property tax exemption based on a percentage of the value added through new construction or significant improvement for a period of no less than five and no more than twenty years. The benefit is provided based on the project’s need of the incentive in order to make the project happen, and its potential for new investment and job creation.

Special Tax Assessment (STA)

Covers both the existing and new value of the real estate owned or leased by the prospective Certified Project candidate. In year one, the tax is zero percent of the existing and new assessed value of the real estate. In year two, up to 25% of the assessed value is taxed. In year three, up to 50% of the assessed value is taxed. In year four, up to 75% of the assessed value is taxed. In years five and following, up to 100% of the assessed value is taxed. The Special Tax Assessment is for a period of no less than five and no more than twenty years. The benefit is provided based on the project’s need of the incentive in order to make the project happen, and its potential for new investment and job creation.

Massachusetts Vacant Storefronts Program (MVSP)

The purpose of the program is to help municipalities of the Commonwealth in their efforts to revitalize their downtowns and commercial areas. Municipalities may apply to the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) for certification to designate a defined downtown or other commercial area, as a Certified Vacant Storefront District. After achieving such a designation, and achieving a commitment of local matching funds, businesses or individuals may apply to the EACC for refundable EDIP tax credits for leasing and occupying a vacant storefront in that district. This subsequent application is to become a Certified Vacant Storefronts Project.

Abandoned Building Tax Deduction

If the project involves the renovation and reuse of an abandoned building in which 75% of the space has been vacant for a period of 24 months, the project may be entitled to receive a one-time corporate tax deduction equal to 10% of the cost associated with the renovation of the abandoned building. Massachusetts law allows as a deduction an amount equal to 10% of the costs incurred in renovating qualifying abandoned buildings located in an Economic Opportunity Area (EOA). The buildings must be designated as abandoned by the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council. The renovation deduction may be taken in addition to any other deduction for which the renovation costs qualify. (For example, the depreciation deduction on improvements to property.) This deduction is available for personal income taxpayers (Schedule C or E) or for corporations whose tax liability is determined by net income.

Rental Neighborhood Improvement Program

Administered by OneHolyoke CDC on behalf of the City, this program provides up to 60% rebates for home improvement of one-to-four unit, owner occupied properties. Program eligibility and the rebate percentage are based upon family size and income. Homeowners must be current on city property taxes and utilities. Improvements include new siding, new wiring, new plumbing, insulation, storm windows and doors, new driveways, lead-based paint removal, asbestos removal, roof repair, chimney repair, porch replacement, ceiling replacement, foundation repair, bathroom expansion for ADA accessibility, gutter and downspout replacements and smoke/heat detection systems.

HOME Funds

The HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) provides formula grants to States and localities that communities use – often in partnership with local nonprofit groups – to fund a wide range of activities including building, buying, and/or rehabilitating affordable housing for rent or home ownership or providing direct rental assistance to low-income people.

Community Preservation Act

The Community Preservation Act (CPA) is a Massachusetts law that establishes a local community preservation fund for open space protection, historic rehabilitation, affordable housing and outdoor recreation in the city of Holyoke. Approved by Holyoke voters in 2016, funds for the program are generated through a surcharge of 1.5% on property tax bills and an annual disbursement from the statewide Community Preservation Trust Fund, which distributes funds each November to CPA communities. The program is led by the Community Preservation Act Committee (CPAC), a nine-member volunteer committee with the support of a staff member. Visit the Holyoke CPA website to learn more.

Federal & State Historic Tax Credit Programs

Federal and State Historic Tax Credits offer tax credits of 20% of qualified rehabilitation costs. With tax credits of 40%, these tax credit programs are often what makes an historic rehabilitation project pencil out.

Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit

The Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentive program encourages private sector investment in the rehabilitation and re-use of historic buildings. It creates jobs and is one of the nation’s most successful and cost-effective community revitalization programs. The National Park Service and the Internal Revenue Service administer the program in partnership with State Historic Preservation Offices.

Tax Credit Basics

  • The amount of credit available under this program equals 20% of the qualifying expenses of your rehabilitation.
  • The tax credit is only available to properties that will be used for a business or other income–producing purpose, and a “substantial” amount must be spent rehabilitating the historic building.
  • Your building needs to be certified as a historic structure by the National Park Service.
  • Rehabilitation work has to meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, as determined by the National Park Service.

Massachusetts Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit

The Massachusetts Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit is an exciting addition to the preservation toolkit. Under the program a certified rehabilitation project on an income-producing property is eligible to receive up to 20% of the cost of certified rehabilitation expenditures in state tax credits. There is an annual cap, so there are selection criteria that ensure the funds are distributed to the projects that provide the most public benefit. The MHC certifies the projects and allocates available credits.