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Linda Haglund | Tax credits mean $133,000 for Wenatchee’s downtown

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I have always believed that when you live in and love a community you show your support by truly keeping it local. There are so many options now. Internet buying, shopping out of town to name a couple. Wenatchee’s historic downtown did see the “Keep it Local “ manifest in a huge way at year’s end.

In 2006 the state passed legislation for accredited Main Street communities called the “Main Street Tax Credit Incentive Program.” In simple terms, this means businesses that pay business and occupation taxes can make a contribution to a Main Street community and get that contribution directly back as a tax credit. Seems too good to be true and seems very simple, but it is a difficult idea for many businesses to get their brain around.

“You mean I can contribute to the Wenatchee Downtown Association and get it back as a tax credit? Really?” Yes, REALLY. Over the years since this has taken effect our downtown has benefited by this program. It truly keeps those tax dollars local … doing local events … helping keep the downtown viable and growing.

Now the catch? Well with that legislation the state put a cap on those donations for both qualified cities and for the state as a whole. This year for the very first time the state was close to its cap of $1.5 million. The very good news is also for the first time since 2007, when the first contributions came in, the Wenatchee Downtown Association reached our local cap of $133.000.

What this means is that we can do even more good things in your downtown. With a challenging construction project coming this summer the money could not have come at a better time. We are committed to help navigate these important businesses in downtown through this project and make our downtown the best place to be even during that construction.

As an organization, we are extremely thankful for the support of the 26 businesses that supported us in this program. 2014 will be a fun and exciting time in downtown Wenatchee! Meet us downtown!