WHEELING — At a forum held Wednesday inside downtown Wheeling’s Stone Center, a private developer told legislators, real estate owners, and local leaders that West Virginia needs to increase its historic rehabilitation tax credit to encourage new investment in vacant properties.
“This doesn’t cost the state any money,” Steve Coon, of Louisville, Ohio, claimed. “This is one of the few programs where the state gets all its money back in seven to nine years — all its money back. So nine years from now, you have a full building, people living downtown, the state has all of its money back … so its investment was just what it was — an investment.”
Alongside Coon, Michael Gioulis, a historic preservation consultant; Craig O’Leary, program director of the Regional Economic Development Partnership; and Jake Dougherty, executive director of Wheeling Heritage answered the questions of attendees intrigued by the effort to boost West Virginia’s credit from 10 percent to 25 percent.