Pictured here is the Flatiron Building located on Main Street in downtown Wheeling. It had been vacant for years before being totally transformed into loft housing with a first-floor coffee shop. This $2.5 million dollar project qualified for $632,653 in state historic rehabilitation tax credits and created 19 constructions jobs.
In 2017, the West Virginia Legislature voted to increase the state historic rehabilitation tax credit from 10% to 25%. However parts of the legislation will affect future reinvestment opportunities and even discontinue the tax credit increase. A network of nonprofit organizations, municipalities, and private investors have joined together to ask the Legislature to address these issues and are asking for support in favor of SB344, which was introduced by Senator Weld (R-1) with Senators Plymale (D-5) and Woelfel (D-5) as co-sponsors.
SB344 is a bi-partisan bill that will:
the state historic rehabilitation tax credit works for west virginia!
From 2018 to 2021, the historic rehabilitation tax credit has attracted renewed interest in our historic commercial districts and spurred private reinvestment in over 80 vacant and dilapidated buildings (some of which are pictured above). When a vacant or underutilized building is repurposed, it generates additional revenues to local government through increased property taxes. Once the state's initial investment is recouped, the project continues to yield positive economic impacts through a combination of sales, income, and business taxes.
In 2018 & 2019, over $34 million dollars were invested to finish 9 projects in Charleston, Clarksburg, Fairmont, Franklin, Huntington, Spencer, and Wheeling. These projects created 256 construction jobs for West Virginia. Rehabilitation projects support higher labor costs for construction jobs rather than new materials and also utilize in-state trades and professional services such as legal, accounting, architectural, and engineering, as well as wholesale trade and retail trade.
Large and small-scale developers report that historic rehabilitation tax credit programs fill a critical financing gap. The 25% rate provides an incentive to make a difference in a developer's decision to undertake a rehabilitation project, and it makes projects more feasible for individuals.
How Does the tax credit work?
When rehabbing a certified historic building for a commercial purpose, owners apply for tax credits through the WV State Historic Preservation Office. A building is considered a certified historic structure when it is either individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places or contributing within a historic district.
The state historic rehabilitation tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in income tax liability and can only be applied to the owner's annual income after a rehabilitation project is complete. State and local governments benefit from an increase in employment and other tax revenue even before the tax credit is claimed.
Learn more about what you can do to help.
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