National Trust for Historic Preservation Applauds Governor Scott Walker for Reinstating the Wisconsin State Historic Tax Credit
Posted July 21, 2014 | Contact email@example.com or 202-588-6141
Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) announced last week that his administration was lifting a moratorium on the Wisconsin state historic tax credit. This credit provides a financial incentive for the redevelopment of Wisconsin’s historic commercial buildings. The following is a statement from Thomas J. Cassidy, Jr., Vice President, Government Relations and Policy, National Trust for Historic Preservation:
“We applaud Governor Walker’s decision to reinstate the Wisconsin state historic tax credit. This incentive, when combined with the federal historic tax credit, provides essential financing opportunities to rehabilitate Wisconsin’s historic theatres, mills, factories and more—many of which are underutilized, vacant or abandoned. Since January, $35.8 million in state credit applications have leveraged nearly $180 million in private and federal investment, drawing new development into Wisconsin’s cities and downtowns while preserving its priceless heritage.
“We share the governor’s belief in the vital importance of this state policy to strengthen Wisconsin’s economy. Because it is more labor-intensive, historic rehabilitation creates more and better paying jobs than new construction. Governor Walker’s leadership on this issue ensures that the state historic tax credit will continue to pay significant dividends to the state by making possible the conversion of historic buildings into attractive places to live, work or open a business.”
BACKGROUND ON THE WISCONSIN STATE HISTORIC TAX CREDIT
The Wisconsin state historic tax credit provides a reduction in state taxes owed equal to 20 percent of qualifying costs for rehabilitating an income-producing property that has been certified as historic by the Wisconsin State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). The same agency must also certify that the rehabilitation work complies with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation. Furthermore, each proposed tax credit project must be approved by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). A minimum investment of $50,000 is required and the credit may be transferred to another entity. In 2013, Wisconsin increased the amount of its historic tax credit from 5 percent to 20 percent. This prompted a flurry of applications, leading WEDC on June 23 to issue a moratorium on the state historic tax credit, pending a program review.