Invest your Business Tax Dollars in Local Economic Development

Local businesses who have already invested their tax dollars into building the community makerspace include Green Mountain Communications, MeredithVillage Savings Bank, Keller Williams Coastal Realty, Wolfeboro Family Dental, PSI Moulded Plastics, Bradley’s Hardware, Carroll County Landscape, Mill Street Meat Market, Made on Earth, and Healing Frontiers.

Have you ever wondered as you do your tax return, wouldn’t it be nice if I could decide where I want my taxes directed, or at least a portion of them? Well as it turns out, if you’re a business and paying New Hampshire business profits, business enterprise or insurance premium taxes, you can.

The NH Community Development Finance Authority oversees a program that allows businesses to direct their taxes to rigorously vetted nonprofit development organizations for innovative projects that show a high degree of community support, build partnerships and leverage other funds. It’s called the NHCDFA Tax Credit Program.

Several Carroll County businesses have already directed their 2019 taxes through this program to a very innovative and collaborative project emerging in Wolfeboro – the revitalization of the building soon to become the future home of the G.A.L.A. Community Makerspace & Vocation Hub. These investors understand that a driving goal of the G.A.L.A. Makerspace is to help close the workforce skills-gap, allowing for business growth, job creation and regional economic development.

These far-sighted and community-minded investors collectively contributed over $92,000 (a fiscal benchmark set by the NHCDFA)  towards capacity-building planning and projects for the G.A.L.A. Makerspace. With matching funds from other grants, this paid for milestones such as community visioning, a feasibility study, strategic plan, architectural design, and required environmental studies. These companies are Green Mountain Communications, MeredithVillage Savings Bank, Keller Williams Coastal Realty, Wolfeboro Family Dental, PSI Moulded Plastics, Bradley’s Hardware, Carroll County Landscape, Mill Street Meat Market, Made on Earth, and Healing Frontiers.

The G.A.L.A. Makerspace is now at the stage where construction documents are being drawn up for public bidding with a view to starting the building renovation in the Fall of 2020 and completion of phase one in 2021. In order to achieve this goal,  G.A.L.A. needs to sell its allocation of $213,000 of business tax credits for the 2020 state fiscal year. Businesses can make a pledge right away and it is worth noting that a business has up to five years to use the credits they have purchased against their business enterprise tax and/or business profits tax liability. 

G.A.L.A. Executive Director, Josh Arnold says, “Selling these $213,000 in tax credits this year is critical to us being able to break ground with the building renovation this fall and keep on target for the 2021 grand opening. The sooner we open, the sooner we can support businesses by providing a space in which to run programs that address the shortfall in job skills, and the stronger our community and state will be. We have a team here at G.A.L.A. who is reaching out to meet personally with businesses in the next few months and we would love to hear directly from interested businesses too.”

Unlike a typical donation where a business gives direct cash to a non-profit organization, the tax credits offer a substantially bigger bang for the buck. Taxes a business would normally pay are redirected from the state general fund to G.A.L.A. The value of the tax credits is maintained in the state economy and, according to economic analysis, magnified by a factor of almost 2:1. The Tax Credit program helps a participating company significantly increase its community impact by leveraging tax dollars. For example, a business can make a $1,000 impact on the local community for a net cost of $170.  Learn more about the tax implications of this unique public/private partnership program here at the CDFA website https://nhcdfa.org/, including an interactive tax calculator. 

Most CPAs who handle business tax returns are familiar with the tax credit program and report that the CDFA has made the process extremely user-friendly. Alternatively, the G.A.L.A. staff can answer any questions a business may have about this program and provide guidance on how to easily go about it, simply by contacting Josh Arnold at 603-569-1500 or josh@galacommunity.org.

The G.A.L.A.  Makerspace and Vocation Hub will be a place where people are given access to tools and resources to create and advance their personal and group goals. It will have a woodshop, fiber arts studio, metal shop, commercial kitchen, automotive bay, craft space, fabrication and rapid prototyping, and more. People can work independently or collaboratively. The makerspace will support career goals, business incubation, workforce training, and learning and engagement opportunities for all ages. 

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