FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 3-10-2023
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New England Legal Foundation Cheers SJC Ruling that Affirms Capital Gain Tax Exemption from Urban Renewal Projects
Decision will encourage more investment in urban renewal projects
BOSTON – The New England Legal Foundation (NELF – www.newenglandlegal.org) is applauding a Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) decision that affirmed an incentive system the Legislature put in place to promote the redevelopment of blighted urban areas. In Reagan v. Commissioner of Revenue, the SJC adopted NELF’s principal November, 2022, amicus brief arguments for overturning the ruling of the Appellate Tax Board and affirming the tax-exempt status associated with capital gains on urban renewal projects. The court’s decision will encourage more investment in such projects in Massachusetts.
Speaking for the Court, Associate Justice Dalila Argaez Wendlandt wrote in her opinion, “In sum, the statute [Chapter 121A] sets forth the Legislature’s intent to provide a significant incentive to spur private investment to transform blighted areas of the Commonwealth’s cities and towns, and to build sorely needed low income housing, to remedy a situation that had become a public exigency, which the Commonwealth’s police powers alone could not solve and which was not being addressed by operation of the private marketplace in the absence of such an incentive.”
NELF President Dan Winslow said, “Today’s ruling will encourage significant development investment interest in our inner-city urban areas which are desperate for new growth and opportunity. Once again, the Court has issued a decision in line with our friend-of-the-court amicus brief, which we see as the latest example of the value of NELF’s advocacy in the courts.“
Boston attorney Karen Pickett authored the brief for NELF. “Hat tip to Attorney Pickett for her compelling amicus brief,” noted Winslow. “We plan to make greater use of outside counsel and pro bono briefs to supplement our in-house counsel capacity on important issues. Karen is an exceptionally strong appellate advocate, and we are thankful for her good work.”