February 11, 2014 All News, Preservation Stories No Comments Tags: Historic Tax Credit, Ohio The Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program provides a tax

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The Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program provides a tax credit equal to 25 percent of Qualified Rehabilitation Expenditures incurred as part of historic rehabilitation projects at National Register sites and districts. The Program is highly competitive and receives applications bi-annually in March and September. Applications are evaluated with an objective scoring system measuring each project’s economic impact, community benefit and return on investment to state and local governments.
The following information is shared with permission from the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program‘s 2012 Annual Report. Lead in image of Erie Terminal Place courtesy of developers, NYO Property Group.

Recent Legislation affecting Ohio Historic Tax Credits

Ohio HTC Projects in ’12: 63
Millions in Investment: $780
Permanent Jobs: 7, 120

Two pieces of legislation approved by the Ohio General Assembly during 2012 impact the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program. Known as the DSA Bill, Senate Bill 314 became effective on September 28, 2012 and allows long-term lessees to participate in the program as an applicant. Prior to this change, only the fee simple owner of the historic building could apply.

Signed by Governor Kasich on December 20, 2012, House Bill 510 created the financial institutions tax (FIT) to replace corporate franchise and dealer in intangibles taxes. The legislation includes a provision to allow the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit to be taken against liability for the FIT. Currently, the credit can be taken against the corporate franchise and dealer in intangibles taxes, which will be phased out at the end of 2013.

Erie Terminal Place, Youngstown, OH

Looking at the Erie Terminal Building, it appears to be just a normal office building. If you look a little closer, however, you may notice clues that suggest its unique past as a passenger train depot. The six-story building opened in 1922 to provide both a passenger station and office space for the Erie Railroad. The rear of the building was set along railroad tracks, allowing passengers to catch trains to New York, Chicago and major Midwest destinations until service was discontinued in 1976.

The Project

Reborn as Erie Terminal Place after a $12 million rehabilitation, the upper five floors of the property have been converted into 40 apartment units for up to 65 young professionals working in the Mahoning Valley and students at the adjacent Youngstown State University. The property’s lower floors offer several commercial storefronts to serve as amenities for the residents and to Downtown Youngstown, creating 40 jobs inside the building. Trains may no longer stop, but the Erie Terminal Building is bustling again.

Qualified Expenditures
Approx. $10.5M*
Figure from Ohio Development Services Agency

Historic Tax Credits
Approx. $3.2M
Figure from The Vindicator

Promotional Video of the New Apartments by NYO Property Group

For some young professionals, leaving their hometowns after college is all they can imagine. Revitalized downtowns and diverse living opportunities, however, can make the decision to come back home both easier and attractive.

Erie Terminal residents Danny Buccino, 25, and Dave Murdoch, 31, embody the types of young talent Ohio communities want to retain. Both grew up in the suburbs of Youngstown, but did not see themselves living in the city after college. Buccino attended the University of Toledo and most recently lived in Connecticut. Murdoch attended Youngstown State and planned to leave the area after graduation.

Today, Buccino is a component engineer with Delphi Automotive in Warren. Murdoch is running his family business, an industrial garage door supplier that is seeing unprecedented growth because of the oil and gas industry. Both are thrilled to be part of the rebirth of Downtown Youngstown and were attracted to Erie Terminal Place because of its proximity to restaurants, nightlife and civic amenities within walking distance, something they note as one of the reasons their friends are attracted to other cities.

Buccino and Murdoch believe Erie Terminal has helped change attitudes about the potential for Downtown Youngstown. “This project has uplifted the area from a place no one wanted to be, to a showplace for the region. I’ve never looked at Youngstown with a brighter light,” Murdoch said.

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February 1, 2014 All News, Preservation Stories No Comments Tags: Texas Texas gave Preservation Action a Lone-Star welcome January 27-31, 2014. In the state wh

<!–/ .post-meta Legislators and preservationists visit statue of Barbara Johnson.

Texas gave Preservation Action a Lone-Star welcome January 27-31, 2014. In the state where the founding inspiration for a national coalition of preservation-focused grassroots activists began, now Preservation Action, State Senator Rodney Ellis and Licia Green-Ellis hosted a reception and meetings with preservationists to share ideas and works underway in historic preservation.

Politicos with hearts in preservation, Senator Ellis and his wife have championed support for historic preservation projects in Houston and Texas and through national organizations. Friends of preservation, former US Congressman Craig Washington, Sylvia Brooks a consultant on Emancipation Park, Stephanie Jones and David Bush of Preservation Houston, Anna Mod of Prairie View A&M University and several students from the preservation program joined Preservation Action at a reception at the Ellis’ home. Darlene Taylor, President of Preservation Action and Hal Fairbanks, member of the Preservation Action Executive Committee attended.

Minnette Boesel, Assistant for Cultural Affairs to Houston Mayor Annise D. Parker, met with Preservation Action. Boesel spoke fondly of working with Nellie Longsworth, President of Preservation Action 1974-1998 and serving as Chair of Preservation Action urging congress for a national rehabilitation tax credit.

From Houston, the preservation welcome tour included preservation and cultural heritage activities across neighborhoods and continued to Austin and the state capitol building. Mark Wolfe and Vaughn Aldredge of the Texas Historical Commission joined Preservation Action to discuss funding for historic preservation and the upcoming National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week.

As the National Conference of State Legislators Executive Committee gathered in Austin for their annual meeting, Senator Ellis led Preservation Action on a tour of the capitol building. Senators Ellis and gathered with legislators and Preservation Action. Taylor and Fairbanks joined the bike ride through Austin neighborhoods and around the state capitol.

To learn more about state issues and deepen Preservation Action’s engagement with members, friends, and legislators, we will continue to meet advocates in their home states and connect advocates and legislators in discussions about the importance of historic preservation.

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June 20, 2013 Advocacy Week, All News, Member News, Preservation Stories No Comments Before I participated in the 2013 National Historic Preservation Advocacy

<!–/ .post-meta Members of the the North Carolina Delegation from University of North Carolina Greensboro during Advocacy Week 2013, pictured here with Representative Richard Hudson.

Before I participated in the 2013 National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week, I considered myself a pretty informed, passionate preservation graduate student. I could talk ad nauseam about how much I love old buildings—the stories they tell, the history the represent, the beauty they reflect. I knew all about the environmental benefits of rehab projects. I even knew all about the economic benefits of preservation.

Student delegates from University of North Carolina Greensboro produced a film documenting their experiences at Advocacy Week, 2009.

Student delegates from University of North Carolina Greensboro produced a film documenting their experiences at Advocacy Week, 2009.

It was really only after I participated in in Lobby Day that I felt like I could really talk about preservation in a really persuasive way. My cohort and I (all first-year graduate students at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro) had prepared for the event during our Preservation Law course the previous semester, and the and Preservation Action and National Council of State Historic Preservation Officers staff also gave us a wealth of information to use in our meetings on the Hill the next day.

However, the meetings themselves were by far some of the most educational experiences I have had in my program. Part of it was simple repetition; with thirteen Representatives and the two Senators representing North Carolina, we each participated in at least eight meetings that day. More than that, the experience was truly empowering; the first meeting was nerve-wracking, but by lunchtime, my group had worked out a routine and I had gained so much confidence.

It’s one thing to know why preservation is important. It’s another to be able to effectively articulate its importance to others. Lobby Day was a chance for my cohort to put theory into practice, and it was an invaluable experience.

In addition to becoming a more self-assured and confident preservationist, I was also energized and inspired by the great people I met during my Lobby Day experience. Meeting the SHPOs, Preservation Action and NCSHPO staff, and the other activists and developers who joined my cohort in our meetings left me sure that I was entering the right field and excited to feel like I could make a difference.

preservationaction-sunnytownesstewart

Sunny Townes Stewart is a lifelong preservationist, even though she only actually realized it a couple of years ago. In 2012, she left her job at an art and history museum to pursue what has become her passion. She is currently enrolled in the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s History/Historic Preservation graduate program and will graduate with her second master’s degree in August 2014 (she earned her first in history from Appalachian State University). She lives in the mountain town of Boone, North Carolina. Learn more about Sunny and her preservation adventures on her personal blog, a touch of history.

Preservation Action sends a special thank you to Sunny for volunteering to spend the Sunday before Lobby Day with us prepping for over 250 preservationists to descend upon The Hill!

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June 20, 2013 Advocacy Week, All News, Member News, Preservation Stories No Comments Tags: Louisiana Executive Director of the Preservation Resource Center of

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Executive Director of the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans, Patty Gay, reported on her recent advocacy work in her state in “Preservation Time in Washington and Baton Rouge,” originally published in her organization’s monthly magazine, Preservation in Print, the most frequently published preservation periodical available. Posted on the Preservation Action website with permission.

Preservation Time in Washington and Baton Rouge

New Orleans preservationists have been traveling to Washington and Baton Rouge seeking support for preservation funding and the state and federal rehab tax credits. We enthusiastically work on this because historic preservation programs have a major impact on economic development in Louisiana, as well as on quality of life in neighborhoods, towns and cities across the state.

With more support for preservation programs that bring empty and underutilized commercials buildings back into commerce and draw residents to the urban core of the city, there would be more tax revenues for education and other services that state and local governments are expected to provide. Plus, the end result of every preservation project makes any place more attractive for additional investment.

Our delegation to Washington included George Brower, Hal Fairbanks, Tara Hernandez and me from New Orleans, Carolyn Bennett and Ben Dupuy from Baton Rouge, Rod Scott from Mandeville, and Nicole Hobson-Morris who presented reports prepared by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) on preservation activity in every congressional district.

In Washington we had the following requests to Louisiana Members of Congress from Louisiana:

a

Support the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) at $55.9 million for the entire country. This fund goes to SHPOs in every state and is essential for those offices to process rehab tax credits, maintain the National Register program and process Section 106 reviews as required in the National Preservation Act of 1966. The HPF, which comes from offshore oil lease revenues, was authorized at $150 million per year in the 1970s, but has never again come close to an allocation of that size. All Congressional House representatives have been urged to sign on to the “Dear Colleague” letter in support of the HPF at $59 million (for the entire country).

b

Support the Creating American Prosperity through Preservation Act (CAPP), which includes enhancements to the federal rehab tax credit, or historic tax credit (HTC). These include increasing the percentage of rehab costs for smaller projects from 20 percent to 30 percent, and a measure that would make it easier for non-profit organizations, including schools, to access the credit. We urge all Louisiana congressional representatives to become sponsors for this bill.

c

Join the bi-partisan House Preservation Caucus, co-chaired by Mike Turner, R-Ohio and Rush Holt, D-New Jersey. Thank you Cedric Richmond and Rodney Alexander for signing on last year. We hope all other representatives from Louisiana will join this caucus since preservation programs have such a great economic impact in Louisiana.

In Baton Rouge preservationists from across the state are working on several bills that would maintain the effectiveness of the state rehab credits (both income-producing and homeowner), should the existing tax structure change:

a

HB 630, relative to the commercial tax credit, is sponsored by Representatives Leger, Brossett, Buford, H. Burns, Jefferson, Moreno and P. Williams as well as Senator Morrell.

b

SB 208, a bill running concurrently with HB 630 and also relative to the commercial tax credit, is sponsored by Senator Riser and Buffington and Representatives Leger and P. Williams.

c

SB 64 (Morrell) would extend the commercial rehabilitation tax credit until 2020. The tax credit is currently scheduled to sunset at the end of 2015.

d

SB 197 relative to the homeowner rehabilitation tax credit is by Senators Riser and Morrell and Representatives Buford and P. Williams.

We are grateful for all of the sponsors of the above bills and urge PRC members to contact them in support of their efforts to preserve the effectiveness of the state rehabilitation tax credits.

Further, PRC is monitoring several other bills introduced during this legislative session, including:

a

HB 256 (Williams) is a constitutional amendment that provides for the redemption period for blighted, abandoned, uninhabitable or hazardous property sold at tax sale. The current law provides that, in New Orleans, abandoned or blighted properties sold at tax sale are redeemable for 18 months after the date of retardation of the tax sale. The proposed constitutional amendment would be applicable statewide and shorten the redemption period to 12 months after retardation of the tax sale. (Note: the bill was amended on April 10, changing the redemptive period statewide to 18 months as is the law currently in New Orleans, eliminating the 12-month limit.)

b

HB 377 (Leger) creates a tax credit registry to track transfers, claims and refunds of tax credits, including the rehab tax credits.

c

HB 444 (Burrell) and HB 587 (Robideaux) calls for legislative review of all tax credits, including the preservation tax credits. (There already exists an administrative review for tax credits.) The House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Revenue and Fiscal Affairs would review tax credits to determine if the economic benefit provided by such credit outweighs the loss of revenue realized by the state as a result of awarding such credit. The committees would make recommendations by March 1, 2015, to continue or terminate the credit. Preservationists would welcome such a review, as rehab tax credits have been proven through many studies to generate more tax revenues than credits given.

d

HB 501 (Moreno) extends the sunset of the musical and theatrical production investment income tax credit, which allows the rehab tax credit to be used for the renovation of historic theaters and support facilities.

e

HB 516 (Leger) expands the authority of the Ernest N. Morial-New Orleans Expedition Hall Authority, including authorization of a Phase V expansion project. Of specific concern to preservationists, the bill also authorizes the Convention Center to fund the demolition of the World Trade Center building.

f

HB 546 (Moreno) and HB 595 (Abramson) regards the transfer or lease of the historic New Orleans Adolescent Hospital campus. Neither bill addresses reuse of the existing structures.

g

HB 657 (Abramson) would legally obligate the Department of Safety and Permits to make permits and other information available on the internet within a specified time period.

h

SB 140 (Morrell) enables (but does not mandate) the City of New Orleans to establish a maximum penalty at $5,000 or imprisonment of six months in the parish jail for violations of any parish ordinance, including code enforcement. Currently the statutory cap for such violations is $500 per instance per day, which must be documented each day.

Follow PRC’s blog and Facebook page for periodic updates on the Louisiana legislative session and, if needed, for requests to preservationists to take action. Also follow PRC advocacy on Twitter @PRCNO for live tweets from legislative committee meetings and from the House and Senate chambers. Most importantly, please be sure to thank those legislators who are working diligently for preservation in this legislative session. Find out how to contact them by visiting PRC’s blog at blog.prcno.org.

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April 22, 2014 All News, Preservation Stories No Comments Tags: Georgia, Historic Tax Credits, Preservation’s Best During National Historic Preservation Advoca

<!–/ .post-meta Bryan Nichols, developer of the Warehouse Lofts accepting his Preservation's Best award.

During National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week, six projects were awarded “Preservation’s Best.” Congressional Historic Preservation Caucus Co-Chairs Michael Turner and Rush Holt, along with US Senators and Members of Congress representing the project winners attended to recognize and present the award to their constituents.

Through federal incentives like the historic tax credit, historic preservation drives economic development and community revitalization across the nation by taking historically significant buildings, that are dated and abandoned, and turning them into viable community assets in a 21st Century economy. “Preservation’s Best of 2013” highlight exemplary historic tax credit projects that revitalize our cities and small towns, and breathe new life into our communities.

Sponsored and Presented by:
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Warehouse Lofts, Macon, GA

In 2009, local developer Bryan Nichols of Nichols Investment Group, LLC saw an opportunity to create more downtown housing units by rehabilitating the historic Scofield Iron Works Showroom, originally constructed in 1900 and located in Macon’s industrial and commercial center.

While some developers struggled during the recent recession, Bryan Nichols was able to thrive because of the tax incentives. Nichols has been able to refurbish several loft units downtown as well as convert an abandoned storefront into the Taste and See coffee house on Poplar Street. Without the incentives, Nichols said he likely would have focused most of his development in north Macon. “If you invest in something, you get something in return,” he said. “You’re preserving (a historic) building and getting something in return for doing it.” – Philip Ramati, Athens Banner Herald

The Warehouse Lofts, a 15,000-square-foot building features loft-style apartments with restored wood-sash windows, historic interior brickwork and updated plumbing and duct-work systems. Completed in 2010, this $385,000 project was a catalyst for more than $16 million in other projects in downtown Macon.

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Nichols Investment Group in the News

No end in sight for downtown Macon’s fast-pace commercial, residential growth,” The Telegraph
Macon leads Georgia in historic preservation efforts,” Athens Banner-Herald
Taste and See” the new coffee shop in Downtown Macon,” The Mercer Cluster

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