…The Senate on Wednesday also advanced a bill that would increase the amount of a tax credit available for rehabilitating certified historic structures.
Senate Bill 238, introduced by Ferns, would raise the tax credit from 10 percent to 25 percent for improving qualified properties for commercial use. As currently written, the tax credits would be available for qualified rehabilitation expenditures made after Dec. 31.
The measure unanimously passed the Senate Wednesday, and will move on to the House for the final week of the regular session.
Jake Dougherty, executive director of Wheeling Heritage, termed the measure “critical” for communities such as Wheeling with many older structures. With renovations, these properties could become useful and tax-producing, he said.
He said there are several significant and important commercial structures in downtown Wheeling that could benefit from the increase in the historic tax credit. Among these are the former Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel building, and the Marsh Stogie building.
“Without this credit, these buildings are not viable and we need an incentive to make them viable,”Dougherty said. “The tax credit would allow these buildings to be viable again, while creating construction jobs and converting vacant buildings to their potential. It would also increase the amount of their property taxes as they become productive again.”