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July 11. 2013 8:36PM

Bethlehem theater, Lisbon Boys Girls Club get tax credits

BETHLEHEM — More than $4.1 million in development funding was awarded to communities throughout New Hampshire.

Among the projects Community Development Finance Authority tax credit program administrators chose is a $75,000 upgrade to equipment at Bethlehem’s Colonial Theatre.

The project will allow the theater to move from film to digital projection and help make it possible for the theater to remain in business, showing films to the public regularly as Hollywood continues its move away from celluloid.

The tax credits will prevent the small town from losing the theater that benefits residents there and in neighboring North Country towns. The financial assistance will help avoid what would have been a significant cultural and economic blow to the area that includes Bethlehem’s downtown, CDFA administrators said in a news release.

Further south, in Lisbon, a $175,000 tax credit will go to the Boys and Girls Club of North Country to purchase two school buses for taking area children to the clubhouse, camp and other activities. Funds from the award will also go toward energy efficiency upgrades to the club’s building to help lower operating costs.

This round of grants will fund projects for a dozen organizations that stretch from the North Country to Nashua and Portsmouth, allowing for “more than $20 million in leverage for these projects,” administrators said in the release.

Other awards include funding for the relocation and expansion of the Nashua Soup Kitchen; an emergency shelter for homeless families in Manchester; and upgrades to distressed affordable housing units in the Lakes Region.

“Many of these projects would be stuck without the participation of CDFA. The tax credits are an important, desired part of their fundraising efforts,” said CDFA Executive Director Kathy Bogle Shields.

“The success of the CDFA tax credit program has become our greatest challenge,” said board Chairwoman Janet Ackerman.

“This is the first year in our history in which we’ve had to turn down more projects than we’ve funded, and the majority of those projects approved were awarded at a lower level than requested,” she said.

Bogle Shields said that the funds go to the recipients in the form of tax credits, not cash. Companies that donate to CDFA-approved projects can receive a 75 percent business tax credit against their contribution. It can be applied to their state taxes on business profits, business enterprise, or insurance premiums.

For information, go to www.nhcdfa.org or call 226-2170.

bhookway@newstote.com


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