During his eight terms, California Rep. Mike Thompson has been an ardent advocate for the city of Vallejo’s effort to redevelop the former Mare Island Naval Shipyard as well as for base redevelopment communities across the nation.
Last October, Thompson introduced legislation designed to attract tens of millions of dollars in private sector investment to communities attempting to recover from a base closure. The measure Thompson sponsored as a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee would have expanded the New Markets Tax Credit program by up to $100 million a year for communities that suffered a base closure or realignment.
The New Markets Tax Credit program targets low-income communities suffering from chronic unemployment and high poverty rates by providing investors with a seven-year, 39 percent federal tax credit. Thompson’s bill was needed because the supply of the tax credits is too small to meet the demand from private sector investors. At the same time, expanding the program would benefit communities that have been hit by the closure or realignment of a local military installation.
To bolster reuse efforts at Mare Island, Thompson last year hosted a summit focused on the cleanup, reuse and long-term economic opportunities available at the closed facility. The summit brought local, state and federal stakeholders in the shipyard’s redevelopment together to take a new look at progress to date and to consider new ways to revitalize the former installation.
The congressman continues to support Mare Island. Last year, he helped Vallejo secure a $75,000 brownfields technical assistance grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to assess the potential for remediating and redeveloping a series of dilapidated buildings on the site’s northern portion. Last month, the Coast Guard awarded a $5.1 million contract to the firm reusing Mare Island’s dry docks to repair an icebreaker.
For his enduring efforts to support BRAC communities, ADC selected Thompson to receive its Congressional Leadership Award. Award winners will be recognized at a special ceremony on Capitol Hill next month during the Defense Communities National Summit.