UpThink: Historic Tax Credits & Why They Matter

 

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UpThink is an email series by GenerationWV, a statewide organization dedicated to attracting, retaining, and advancing young talent in the Mountain State.

By Nicole Marrocco / WV Community Development Hub

Little excites me more than a community finding a modern use for a historic building.

Nerdy, I know.

But just check out this church turned indoor rock gymgas station turned restaurant, and bank turned grocery store, and I guarantee you’ll be geeking out over the untapped potential of abandoned and underperforming historic buildings alongside me.

Historic tax credits make it possible to revitalize historic properties that have a financing gap between what banks will lend and the total cost of rehabilitation.

Developers restoring income-producing (i.e. commercial, industrial, agricultural, or rental-residential) buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places or certified by the National Parks Service can apply for personal or corporate net income tax credits from West Virginia worth 10 percent of rehabilitation expenses.

Unfortunately, West Virginia’s 10 percent rate just isn’t cutting it — especially considering all of our neighboring states have either a 20 or 25 percent historic tax credit rate. Developers are wary of rehabbing buildings here because the risk is so much higher compared to places just across the state border.

Over the last few months, the Revitalize West Virginia’s Downtowns Coalition (including Generation West Virginia) has been advocating to increase the rate to 25 percent to make our state’s historic districts more attractive to developers and spur private investment.

Read the full UpThink to find out why — as a young person living in West Virginia — I believe an increased historic tax credit rate is a game-changer.

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