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Possible Changes to Tax Code Could Impact Historical Preservation in Athens

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Athens-Clarke Heritage Foundation
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Congress is in the process of coming up with revisions to the tax code and the Athens-Clarke Heritage Foundation says that could have an unexpected impact in our area.

There are concerns those revisions to the tax code could result in the elimination of the Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit. The measure allows for those involved in rehabbing historic structures to receive a 20% tax credit on their projects. Executive Director Amy Kissane says the ACHF and the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation urge area residents and others to let their voices be heard on the matter.

“Simply calling, writing a letter, emailing Senator Johnny Isakson’s office and saying that as Congress goes through the process of looking at his new tax package to please preserve the Federal Rehabilitation Tax credits as they currently are,” Kissane said. “They are hugely important to the economics of local communities where they take place.”

Kissane says preservation efforts often cost hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, so that tax credit is a vital part of financing.

“That’s right, that money is not going to the federal treasury. But the fact is that the investment when people are spending millions of dollars on the rehab of these historic buildings; that money is going so often to local contractors, local suppliers.”

She says there are other benefits as well.

“You are creating jobs, those people might be coming to town and staying for months. So it’s a multiplier effect.”

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Kissane says beyond that, the buildings are often in places that are rundown, so the rehab spurs additional improvements and property values increase. She says those concerned about the tax credit should contact Senator Isakson’s office during the next few days.

President Ronald Regan on the topic more than 30 years ago:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kJAIopuPyI&feature=youtu.be

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