Grappone Automotive Group has pledged another $25,000 in New Hampshire business tax credits to support the redevelopment of the Gale School in Belmont. Last year they purchased $15,000 in tax credits. The project will transform the historic schoolhouse into a community facility that will include a new early learning center operated by the Boys & Girls Club and a new program center operated by Lakes Region Community Services.
“We love the CDFA tax credit program and we think the Gale School is a great project to invest in because of the impact it will have on working families in the Lakes Region,” said Amanda Osmer, Owner of Grappone Automotive Group.
“We are thankful to our partners at Grappone Automotive Group for choosing to support this project again this year,” said Carmen Lorentz, Executive Director of Lakes Region Community Developers (LRCD), the developer of the project. “This project would not be possible without the support of our local business community.”
Construction on the Gale School has been somewhat delayed due to the increase in prices, which in turn means LRCD needs to raise more funding. If this additional fundraising is successful, LRCD is hopeful construction could begin this winter. There is a total of $220,000 left in tax credits to sell by March 31, 2023. Businesses interested in purchasing tax credits for the Gale School project should contact Carmen Lorentz at LRCD by calling (603) 524-0747, ext 110.
The Gale School was built in 1894, and was used by the Belmont school district until the mid-1980s. The building has been mostly vacant since then, and years of neglect have taken their toll. The Gale School was named to the New Hampshire State Register of Historic Places in 2018, and was selected as one of New Hampshire’s Seven to Save in 2017.
In July 2020, the building was successfully moved by the local Save Our Gale School Committee (SOGS) to a new location at 60 Concord Street in Belmont Village. LRCD agreed to partner with SOGS to redevelop the building.
The tax credits are administered by New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA). Any business with operations in NH that contributes to a CDFA tax credit project receives a NH state tax credit worth 75% of their contribution. The credit can be used over a period of five years to reduce the business’ state tax liability (business profits, business enterprise or insurance premium taxes). The tax credit program allows NH businesses to redirect a significant portion of their state tax dollars to support local projects that they care about.
CDFA reviews many project applications each year and awards tax credits to those they determine are feasible and will make the biggest impact on economic development in the state. LRCD was awarded $750,000 in credits for the Gale School project, and has sold $530,000 to date.