HUNTINGTON – Although it seemed to die quietly at the end of the regular legislative session, a measure to increase the rate of tax credits available to developers restoring historic buildings remains alive in the special session of the West Virginia Legislature.
While lawmakers took a break from legislating last week amid negotiations for the state’s 2018 budget, the tax credit proposal became a little-noticed part of the special session call from Gov. Jim Justice. But it is a measure proponents contend could spawn development throughout the state at what appears to be little cost to the state. Officials in Huntington have advocated for the change, saying a bigger tax credit could spark renovation of currently little-used buildings in the downtown.
Currently, those who do construction work restoring historic buildings receive a tax credit of 10 percent of the total cost of working on the building.
Under a measure that was part of the tax revenue bills in the Senate and the House of Delegates two weeks ago, the tax credit rate would be increased to 25 percent of the total cost of the project. The measure also included a tax credit cap of $3.75 million per building.