The West Virginia House of Delegates and State Senate, during this week’s special session of the Legislature, passed House Bill 203 to increase the State Historic Tax Credit from 10 percent to 25 percent.
Gov. Jim Justice placed the bill on the Special Session agenda after consultation with legislative leadership and interested parties.
The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, Abandoned Properties Coalition, US Green Building Council, W.Va. Chapter, W.Va. Community Development Hub, Wheeling Heritage, private developers, citizens, and municipalities joined together to create the Revitalize West Virginia Downtown Coalition.
That coalition developed a plan to increase the state historic tax credit to aid in economic development of the state and educate legislators on the importance of the historic rehabilitation tax credit.
Danielle LaPresta, executive director of the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, said, “I am pleased that the Governor and legislature saw the potential of the historic tax credit to serve as a catalyst to revitalize West Virginia. This program will spark economic development throughout the state regardless of the size of the community.”
The governor is a strong ally of historic preservation in West Virginia, LaPresta said.
The 25 percent credit brings West Virginia to parity with neighboring states. Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia have a 25 percent state historic tax credit; Maryland and Kentucky have a 20 percent tax credit. This increase will encourage the rehabilitation of historic buildings and spur private investment, create jobs, and help rid the state of vacant and underutilized buildings. Studies have shown that the estimated return on the state’s investment is approximately 2:1. This means for every dollar of tax credit provided by the state, two dollars of additional state taxes and revenue will be created through investments.
Renee Kuhlman, director of Policy Outreach, Government Relations and Policy from the National Trust for Historic Preservation said, “With these improvements, state legislators are putting West Virginia’s heritage to work and encouraging investors to bring their dollars to the Mountaineer State. States that have improved their historic tax credits have doubled the use of the federal historic tax credit and have seen construction jobs increase because renovation is labor intensive.”
The Legislature passed the legislation with overwhelming support in both houses.
Mike Gioulis, PAWV Advocacy chairperson, speaking for the coalition, said: “The coalition would like to thank all of the legislators that voted in favor of the bill, including the sponsors, Speaker Tim Armstead, R, Kanawha, and Tim Miley, D, Harrison. We appreciate that Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns, R, Ohio, and Senator Glenn Jeffries, D, Putnam, spoke in favor of the bill. We also would like to thank Chairman Eric Nelson, Jr., R, Kanawha, for his leadership on this issue.”
The group also values the support and leadership of Justice as well as his staff. The West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office is developing standards and procedures to educate and promote the program to the public.
For more information relating to the historic tax credit program, contact Jennifer Brennan, State Historic Tax Credit Coordinator at 304-558-0240.
For additional information regarding this effort, contact the Preservation Alliance of WV Advocacy Chairman Mike Gioulis at 304-545-4881, or visit www.pawv.org and www.revitalizewvdowntowns.com.
In early 2016, the Abandoned Property Coalition, a network of community leaders, and local, regional, and national organizations developing community-based solutions to vacant, abandoned, and dilapidated properties across West Virginia, held a strategy session to determine what the Coalition should focus its energy on over the course of the next year. Four people, including representatives from the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, signed on to research the possibility of pushing forward policy around increasing the rate of West Virginia’s historic rehabilitation tax credit from 10% to 25%.
One major issue the group quickly came to realize was that although West Virginia has 92 commercial and mixed-use historic districts ripe for revitalization –developers choose to invest in neighboring states instead of our downtowns due to West Virginia’s uncompetitive 10% historic rehabilitation tax credit. Neighboring states, including Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia, all have 25% historic rehabilitation tax credits.
By Lacie Pierson / The Herald-Dispatch
CHARLESTON – Members of the West Virginia Legislature picked up Wednesday where they left off on May 24 and sent a tax revenue measure to a conference committee with the goal of reaching a compromise before June 30.
House Bill 107, or the West Virginia Tax Reform Act of 2017, was referred to the committee in the first formal legislative action taken by lawmakers in regard to the revenue measure they estimate will close a budget gap for fiscal year 2018, which begins July 1.
Read the full story at www.herald-dispatch.com.
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 gym, gas 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.
By Joselyn King / The Intelligencer
WHEELING — The West Virginia House of Delegates passed its version of a revenue bill Friday on what was the sixth day of a special legislative session in Charleston called for setting the state’s 2018 budget.
Despite a long agenda of proposed amendments, House Bill 107 was approved with few changes from the measure passed Thursday by the House Finance Committee. It would maintain West Virginia’s consumer sales tax at 6 percent, but would eliminate sales tax exemptions on cellphone services. It also would make no changes to the state’s coal and gas severance tax rates, but would gradually eliminate all taxation of Social Security within the next three years.
Read the full story, including more about the historic tax credit, at theintelligencer.net.
By Ashton Marra / WV Public Broadcasting
Members of the House are standing their ground when it comes to tax reform. At least, that’s what House Speaker Tim Armstead said Friday after a vote in the chamber on its own version of a revenue bill.
The bill does not include any of the changes to the personal income tax Senate Republicans and Gov. Jim Justice have agreed to, but Armstead said that doesn’t mean his chamber isn’t still willing to work on a compromise.
Members of the House voted 74 to 17 in favor of the tax bill negotiated between House Democrats and Republicans.
It brings in an estimated $100 million in additional revenue to close a budget gap in the 2018 fiscal year, which isn’t enough according to members of the chamber, but is a start.
Read the full story, including more about the historic tax credit, at wvpublic.org.
Although the main order of business is to pass a budget, Governor Jim Justice has made it a priority to also include increasing the state’s historic tax credit to the agenda, and we’re really excited about it.
Increasing the state’s historic tax credit to 25 percent will help spark new development in West Virginia’s historic downtowns. As the statewide organization dedicated to attracting and retaining young people in the Mountain State, we know that quality of place is a driving factor for young people in choosing where they want to live and work. Young people want to be where the action is and an increase in historic tax credit will help West Virginia build walkable, vibrant communities that are especially attractive to the next generation.
Check out the special session update from Generation West Virginia.
After receiving widespread bipartisan support during the regular session, historic tax credit legislation ultimately failed on the final day of regular session.
But now we have another chance to increase the state’s historic tax credit, and we need your help to do it. If revitalizing your downtown is a priority to you, let your representatives know by clicking here.
West Virginia has 92 commercial and mixed-use historic districts ripe for revitalization – yet developers choose to invest in neighboring states instead of our downtowns due to West Virginia’s uncompetitive 10% historic rehabilitation tax credit. Neighboring states, including Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia, all have 25% historic rehabilitation tax credits. Since 2002, each of these three states has created more than 44,000 jobs in the redevelopment of historic buildings, generating more than $3 billion in total income for each state. In the same period, West Virginia’s 10% tax credit has created just 3,529 jobs, and $170 million in total income.
The state must take action to remain economically competitive with surrounding states. An increase in the current state historic rehabilitation tax credit from 10% to 25% would make West Virginia’s historic commercial districts more attractive to developers, spurring private investment.
There are a number of ways you can support the proposal to encourage redevelopment of West Virginia’s historic building, you can contact your state legislators and sign a petition. Learn more by visiting https://revitalizewvdowntowns.com.
The coalition’s members include the Abandoned Property Coalition, the American Institute of Architects WV Chapter, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Wheeling National Heritage Area, and private businesses. If your organization is interested in joining the coalition, contact PAWV at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how.
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