A coalition called Revitalize West Virginia’s Downtowns is launching a campaign to increase the State Historic Tax Credit, in order to spark the redevelopment of West Virginia’s abandoned historic buildings. (Learn more about this campaign at revitalizewvdowntowns.com.)
This broad coalition of economic development professionals, architects, developers, community developers, city officials and historic preservationists is asking the West Virginia Legislature to increase West Virginia’s uncompetitive 10 percent historic rehabilitation tax credit to 25 percent, in order to spur private investment, create jobs, repurpose vacant and underutilized buildings, and provide West Virginia with a positive return on investment.
West Virginia has an abundance of historic buildings that aren’t meeting their economic potential.
The state has 92 registered historic districts categorized as either commercial or mixed-use. That means that these districts include potentially income-producing properties that would be eligible for the proposed increased historic rehabilitation tax credit of 25 percent.
In these 92 registered historic districts, there are 14,805 contributing buildings.
To put that in perspective, 87 buildings were redeveloped from 2002 to 2015 using the current 10 percent tax credit. That’s less than 1 percent of the buildings in West Virginia’s commercial and mixed-use historic districts.
These historic districts are assets waiting to be leveraged.
The beauty is that these assets are found in almost every area of the state. Sixty-seven cities and towns have one or more mixed-use or commercial registered historic districts.
With the current 10 percent tax credit, developers have rehabilitated buildings in only 25 of these 73 communities:
|Charles Town||Harpers Ferry||Old Fields||Wardensville|
This means that 48 communities are missing out:
|Barboursville||Grafton||Pence Springs||St. Albans|
|Berkeley Springs||Hedgesville||Point Pleasant||Sweet Springs|
With an increase in the West Virginia Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit to 25 percent, the remaining 48 communities will have a higher likelihood of attracting private investment and harnessing the economic potential of their historic districts.
Learn more about the campaign to increase the state historic tax credit at revitalizewvdowntowns.com.