Local historic preservation discussed with crowd

From staff and press reports

The Louisville Historic Preservation Commission recently hosted the Mississippi Department of Archives and History’s Todd Sanders for a review of the tax credits available for rehabbing historic properties.

Sanders talks with local citizens with a crowd of about 30.

Sanders talks with local citizens with a crowd of about 30.

“How else can you get 45¢ on the dollar return?” said Marveen Moody, Louisville Historic Preservation Commission chairwoman. Sanders, who has been with MDAH since 1992, reviewed the process for claiming the tax credits. The credits, when applying both state and federal, can have up to a 45 percent on each dollar invested into restoring a historic business or a business that contributes to a historic area.

Sanders explained the types of buildings, homes and projects that qualified. Sanders on March 28 noted that the state portion of the tax credit was up for renewal and added he was confident it would be renewed.

Mississippi Historic Tax Credit Reauthorized Preservationists around Mississippi had cause for celebration this weekend when the legislature reauthorized the 25% state Historic Tax Credit, extending its impending deadline of December 31, 2014 to December 31, 2017.

“We are elated that the legislature has agreed to continue this important historic preservation and community development tool. It will be invaluable as we move forward with our efforts to save the landmark Threefoot Building here in Meridian. The federal Historic Tax Credit used in tandem with our state Historic Tax Credit can make this a doable project rather than a pipe dream. All involved in saving the program should be commended”, said John McClure, Community Development Director, City of Meridian.

Since its adoption in 2006, the state Historic Tax Credit has spurred 205 historic restoration projects, totaling an investment of $200 million dollars. According to Jackson attorney Matthew P. McLaughlin, a partner with Balch and Bingham, “The Mississippi Historic Tax Credit has been one of the most impactful incentives used to revitalize rural and urban Mississippi Main Street corridors, triggering highly localized economic development and preserving Mississippi’s rich cultural heritage.”

For communities like Hattiesburg, the state Historic Tax Credit has helped to fuel a downtown renaissance. Architect and preservation advocate Larry Albert stated: “Without the state and federal tax credit incentives, the recent restoration of The American & The Carter buildings in downtown Hattiesburg would not have been completed.

These sophisticated developers utilized the credits which resulted in fifty plus new residential units and retail spaces. This immediately increases the tax base for local and state government, as well as contributing to the revitalization of the community. Residents and businesses buy and sell thereby creating economic development.

At the end of the tax credit time allotment, these buildings will more than make up for the credit they initially used and they will be back on the tax rolls benefiting us all. The lives of these buildings have been solidified for another seventy-five years. That these buildings are expected to ultimately enjoy 150 years of life speaks loudly of the Hub City’s founders.”

From large-scale commercial projects like the Veteran’s Administration Complex in Gulfport to the restoration of smaller, residential buildings, the state Historic Tax Credit is helping to save the places that matter in Mississippi. Both the federal and state Historic Tax Credits are administered by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

To find out more, please call Todd Sanders, Tax Incentive Coordinator, at 601-354-6950 or visit www.mdah.state.ms.us