Designated Downtown Incentives

Designated Downtown Map Opens in new window

The downtown designation program supports local revitalization efforts across the state by providing technical assistance and state funding to help designated municipalities build strong communities. Once designated, the community will be eligible for the following benefits:

10% Historic Tax Credits

  • Available as an add-on to approved Federal Historic Tax Credit projects.
  • Eligible costs include interior and exterior improvements, code compliance, plumbing and electrical upgrades.

25% Historic Tax Credits

  • Eligible facade work up to $25,000.

50% Code Improvement Tax Credits

  • Available for up to $50,000 each for elevators and sprinkler systems and $12,000 for lifts.
  • Eligible code work includes ADA modifications, electrical or plumbing up to $25,000.

50% Technology Tax Credits

  • Available for up to $30,000 for installation or improvements made to data and network installations, and HVAC (heating, cooling or ventilation systems) reasonably related to data or network improvements.
    • Eligible to receive loans, loan guarantees, or grants up to $100,000 for capital transportation and related capital improvement projects.
    • Grants may not exceed 50% of a project’s cost. Priority consideration for various ACCD, VTrans and ANR grants and incentives including, ACCD’s Municipal Planning Grants, State Historic Preservation grants, Vermont Community Development Program (VCDP) grants, VTrans Bike/Ped and Transportation Alternatives grants, Northern Border Regional Commission Grants, ANR Water and Wastewater subsidies and loans, and various other state grants and resources.
    • Authority to post speed limits of less than 25 mph to help calm traffic and make the downtown a more pedestrian-friendly environment.
    • May erect and post informational signs to help guide visitors to downtown and to significant historical, educational, recreational or cultural landmarks.
    • Priority site consideration by the State Building and General Services (BGS) when leasing or constructing buildings.
    • May create a special assessment district (also known as business improvement district) to raise funds for both operating costs and capital expenses to support specific projects in the designated downtown.
    • No permit fees and special downtown process with reduced criteria
    • Qualified mixed use-housing projects are exempt from review.
    • Communities may also designate Neighborhood Development Areas within 1/2 mile from the designated downtown. Qualified projects are:
    • Exempt from Act 250 regulations for Priority Housing Projects and projects not qualifying for the exemption receive a 50% discount on application fees.
    • Exemption from the land gains tax for housing units sold.
    • Eligible for reduced state permit fees.

Visit the State of Vermont Downtown Designation website. 

For more information about Winooski's Downtown Designation Incentives, contact Heather Carrington, Community and Economic Development Officer: / 802 655 6410 ex 20