On Tuesday, October 17, The West Virginia House and Senate passed House Bill 203 which increased the State Historic Tax Credit from 10% to 25% in a special session of the WV Legislature. Governor Jim Justice placed the bill on the Special Session agenda after consultation with legislative leadership and interested parties.
A coalition including the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, Abandoned Properties Coalition, US Green Building Council, WV Chapter, WV Community Development Hub, Wheeling Heritage, private developers, citizens, and municipalities created the Revitalize West Virginia Downtown Coalition. The 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.
The 25% credit brings West Virginia to parity with neighboring states. Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia have a 25% state historic tax credit; Maryland and Kentucky have a 20% tax credit. This increase will encourage the rehabilitation of historic buildings and spur private investment, create jobs, and help rid our 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.
The Legislature passed the legislation with overwhelming support in both houses. Mike Gioulis, Preserveration Alliance of WV Advocacy Chairperson, speaking for the group, stated: “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 Governor Jim 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, please contact the Preservation Alliance of WV Advocacy Chairman Mike Gioulis at 304-545-4881. Also, please visit http://www.pawv.org and http://www.revitalizewvdowntowns.com.