Obama seeks tax credit for NY's World Trade Center

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 13, 2012 3:03 PM
Obama seeks tax credit for NY's World Trade Center

By Joan Gralla

(Reuters) - Transportation upgrades for New York's World Trade Center rebuilding would get a $200 million tax credit under U.S. President Barack Obama's budget plan proposed on Monday, providing support to finish this aspect of the long-delayed project.

The tax credits for lower Manhattan would be offered to both New York City and New York state, and run from 2013 to 2022, totaling $2 billion over 10 years.

Obama's plan would replace previous tax benefits that Congress authorized to help New York City get back on its feet, but which proved unusable.

After the September 11, 2011 attacks, Congress gave New York City a $21 billion package of financing and incentives for redevelopment of Lower Manhattan in what was called the Liberty Zone, the area around the World Trade Center.

The new tax credits for upgrading transportation to and within the Liberty Zone could help the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which is leading the World Trade Center rebuilding, to finish projects that are billions of dollars over budget as well as years behind schedule.

The total cost of World Trade Center redevelopment has increased to an estimated $14.8 billion, up from an estimated $11 billion in 2008.

The tax credits could be offset against payments made by New York state or New York City except for excise taxes, Social Security, and Medicare payroll taxes, the plan said. Tax credits not used could be added to the following year's annual limit, which can not exceed $200 million.

If the state or city spent more than $200 million improving Liberty Zone transportation in one year, that sum would be subtracted from the annual limit in the following years, according to the proposal.

(Reporting By Joan Gralla in New York and Lisa Lambert in Washington; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Andrew Hay)