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Historic Tax Credits News Briefs - January 2014

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell requested a comprehensive study of Virginia’s existing school buildings and facilities in order to show how a change to the federal historic tax credit (HTC) could benefit these buildings. The report found that of the 2,030 schools, 817 are 50 years old or older. Gov. McDonnell commissioned the study as part of his efforts to have the “prior-use rule” for tax-exempt entities eliminated. Paul Goldman, former chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia, said in a press release that by fixing a bureaucratic glitch in the IRS code, Virginia localities could have modern 21st century K-12 facilities at a cost of 35-40 percent less than they would cost without access to the HTC.

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On Dec. 11 Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed October Special Session Assembly Bill 4 into law. This bill doubles the state’s historic tax credits from 10 to 20 percent for buildings constructed before 1936. The bill is available at www.historictaxcredits.com.

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Eight states received a combined total of $7.6 million in grants to help repair historic properties damaged by Hurricane Sandy. These states are Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. The funds are to be used to pay for construction work to repair historic sites, allow state historic preservation offices (SHPOs) to hire additional staff to conduct reviews of federally funded or sponsored projects, to provide technical assistance to owners of historic properties and to help with architectural/engineering plans of hurricane-damaged properties.

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On Dec. 5, the Rural Ulster Preservation Company (RUPCO) announced the award of a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) payment from the Common Council for the conversion of a former Kingston, N.Y. factory into apartments for artists. The building, originally constructed in 1902, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012. The property, the Lace Curtain Mill factory, will provide 55 units to artists, with project costs totaling $18 million. TD Bank has also provided a $100,000 grant to the development.

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The Historic Preservation Fund received $150 million from the U.S. Department of the Interior in November. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced on Nov. 19 that the department disbursed more than $14.2 billion in revenue generated by energy production on public lands and offshore waters in fiscal year (FY) 2013. The revenues were distributed to state, local, federal and tribal accounts to support critical reclamation, conservation, recreation and historic preservation projects.

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The complete restoration of the Sheppard Pratt gatehouse, once the main entrance to the Sheppard & Enoch Pratt psychiatric hospital was announced on Dec. 4. Located in Towson, Md., the gatehouse previously housed staff, and ceased to be the main entrance in 2001. The gatehouse will now serve as a guesthouse for visiting staff and lecturers. Renovation costs totaled $1.5 million. Restoration was performed by Lewis Contractors, with funds provided by the Maryland Historic Trust. France-Merrick Foundation, The Middendorf Foundation Inc. and Charitable Marine Society also provided funding.

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The U.S. Forest Service and the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience received the Chairman’s Award for Achievement in Historic Preservation. At the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation’s (ACHP’s) fall business meeting on Nov. 14. The award was given for the Asian Pacific American Heritage program. ACHP Chairman Milford Wayne Donaldson said the program has made the public more aware of the contributions of Asian Pacific Americans to our national history and interprets the historic places where that heritage is visible and accessible. The program provides heritage education through museum exhibits and programs and excursions to sites under the Forest Service’s stewardship. A museum exhibit featuring 16 sites is scheduled to open at the Wing Luke museum in Seattle, Wash. in Oct. 2014.

Journal Category:

Historic Tax Credits

Authors:

Novogradac

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