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Historic Tax Credits News Briefs - October 2010

Banks and insurance companies can now apply New York state rehabilitation tax credits (RTCs) to their state franchise liability. Gov. David Paterson, with his August signing of companion bills S. 7556 and A. 10839, authorized the expansion, which is expected to result in a wider pool of investors. Although banks and insurance companies are among the most active tax credit purchasers, until now they could use the credit only to reduce their general corporate tax liability. The Preservation League of New York says the expansion will increase the incentive to invest in the RTC program, which encourages rehabilitation of historic buildings across the state. Earlier in the same month, the state Legislature moved to defer portions of business tax credit payments exceeding $2 million, including RTC payments. Find copies of the bills online at www.historictaxcredits.com.

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The National Housing & Rehabilitation Association (NH&RA) announced the names of 14 properties that are finalists in six categories for the 2010 J. Timothy Anderson Awards for Excellence in Historic Rehabilitation. Co-sponsored by the National Trust Community Investment Corporation, the awards were created to honor outstanding real estate projects that involve rehabilitation of historic buildings using state or federal historic tax credits. This year’s finalists are located in 10 states. The awards will be presented in association with NH&RA’s annual Fall Developers Forum at an awards luncheon and ceremony in Boston, Mass. on October 19. Additional details and the list of finalists are available at www.housingonline.com.

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Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas announced a $1.8 million tax credit allocation for 19 communities to assist the renovation or repair of buildings in downtown and village centers. Downtown and Village Center State Tax Credits are designed to work with the federal historic tax credit program to leverage a combined credit of between 30 and 40 percent of a project’s eligible expenses. Available credits include a 10 percent state historic rehabilitation tax credit, a 25 percent façade improvement tax credit and a 50 percent code improvement tax credit. To become a designated downtown, communities must have both a downtown revitalization organization and demonstrate their capacity to support such a program, in addition to other requirements. Application guidelines and further details are available at www.historicvermont.org.

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Western New York officials broke ground in August on an $8.5 million project to restore the 1930s-era Erie Lackawanna Train Depot in Jamestown. Expected to support regional economic development and tourism, the train depot rehabilitation is the first Federal Transit Administration funded project to use new markets tax credits. Additional project financing consists of $120,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds, $1.4 million in historic tax credits, funds from the Gebbie Foundation and other state funding. Rehabilitation efforts will include structural stabilization; restoration or replacement of exterior doors and windows; exterior masonry and copper; roof replacement; hazmat abatement; HVAC installation; and electrical repair and replacement.

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A $54 million project to transform the historic Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells, Texas into a four-star modern resort and spa received $7.6 million in historic tax credits (HTCs), the Fort Worth Business Press reported. The 14-story hotel was one of the country’s largest health spas when it opened in 1929. Hunter Chase Private Equity, the developer, plans to combine its 450 rooms to form a 155-room hotel, install an 11,000-square-foot spa area on the second floor, and make improvements to the property’s exterior and grounds. In addition to HTCs, the project received $9.7 million in new markets tax credits, $7.9 million from a tax increment finance district, $500,000 from an Environmental Protection Agency grant and $20 million in long-term debt received through the Texas Department of Rural Affairs, which qualified it for a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development loan guarantee. Construction is slated to begin in early 2011.

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Mayoral candidates at a Providence, R.I. preservation forum in September discussed the state’s historic tax credit (HTC) program, The Providence Journal reported. One of the candidates, Angel Traveras, pledged to advocate for the HTC’s reinstatement if elected. The program provided a 30 percent tax credit for historic rehabilitation projects. The Legislature closed the program to new applicants in 2008 to fill a budget gap, but credits allocated prior to that legislation are still guaranteed.

Journal Category:

Historic Tax Credits

Authors:

Novogradac

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