Thursday, December 11, 2014

Cuts to federal tax credits for historic property rehabilitation under consideration

Stephanie Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, recently wrote an opinion piece highlighting the effectiveness of income tax credits for historic preservation of properties leading up to a national historic preservation conference in Savannah last month. Meeks also says that Congress is considering a repeal of the tax credit:

…Unfortunately, the federal historic tax credit has recently come under threat in Washington. As part of a broader proposal for comprehensive tax reform, the current chairman of the House of Representatives’ tax-writing committee has proposed a repeal of the federal credit. This would consign hundreds of worthy historic rehabilitation projects across the state to uncertain futures. It would harm the Georgia state credit — without the coupling impact of the federal and state tax credit programs, the effectiveness of Georgia’s investments would be vastly diminished. As the Senate Finance Committee considers tax reform proposals in the new Congress, we stand ready to work with Sen. Johnny Isakson — a member of the committee and soon to be Georgia’s senior senator — on legislative efforts to improve the tax credit without losing these vital benefits for communities.
These tax credits are going to be a focal point of discussion at our conference. We’re excited to hear from Macon Mayor Robert Reichert, who will discuss how, over the past two years, his city has had the most tax credit projects in the state of Georgia… 

For property tax purposes in Georgia, properties that have undergone rehabilitative work within set timeframes and improved the property value by set amounts can qualify for an assessment freeze of their property value for 8½ years. Interested property owners can apply for certification by the state Department of Natural Resources then apply for preferential assessment with the DeKalb County tax assessors office. This tax benefit is separate and additional to the state and federal income tax credits that Meeks described.

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