House Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly want to extend a tax credit that could help downtown revitalization projects across the state.
The Historic Preservation Tax Credit is set to expire at the end of the year. A bill filed Wednesday would extend the credit 10 years. The measure provides tax credits of up to 25 percent to developers who revive defunct industrial buildings and other structures seen throughout the state.
"They don’t get these tax credits unless they get a certificate of occupancy and actually finish the project," said Karen Alexander, former mayor and current city council member in Salisbury, where a developer is currently looking at refurbishing an old hotel that has been languishing for decades.
Alexander joined other local leaders gathered at the legislature Wednesday to advocate for the sunset extension.
Patrick Reilly was there too. Reilly is president of Rehab Development, a firm working on a multi-building project in Goldsboro, one of them a 10-story structure that has been vacant since the late 1970s.
"Almost none of the projects that I'm working on, or most developers would be working on, in North Carolina that have the historic component would be able to be done because the economic gap is too big and the counties and cities can't fill the gap in and of themselves," said Reilly, explaning the importance of the tax credit.
The Historic Preservation Tax Credit has helped revitalization efforts in Washington, N.C., the riverside city along the Pamlico, in Beaufort County.
"We had a bank, which has been shuttered for about 30 years. The bank has now become a high-end restaurant, is soon to also become a boutique hotel with 15 rooms and a gin distillery," said William Pitt, a Washington City Council member and incoming president of the North Carolina League of Municipalities.
The group supports the bill and House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) has given it his stamp of approval.