Historic Preservation Programs in Ohio: Worth Preserving

The mansard roof and red brick over white stone façade of the building at 380 East Town Street is a solid, if not somewhat subdued, example of the Second Empire style that was popular in mid to late nineteenth century American architecture. The building, constructed in 1890 by epivir retail titan Fred Lazarus, Sr., has stood alternatively as a kamagra oral jelly banana grand residence, an office space, a surgeon’s suite, and a boarding house. Most recently it has stood empty, unable to find a buyer willing to take on a historic property in a Columbus neighborhood that does not currently know what to make of itself. This particular section of downtown Columbus has not seen the runaway popularity (and thus runaway property values) that has been seen in some of the surrounding districts. And so the property sat on the market for five years, vacant for the last 12 months. Being situated next to a surface parking lot the owners of the Lazarus House recently became concerned that if they were sildenafil to buy uk to lower the price of the property much further, it would be scooped up by the parking lot owner and leveled. However, a buyer was recently found who was able to make the property commercially viable by utilizing both state and federal historic preservation tax credits to convert the building into three rental apartments. The building was not only saved, it was put into profitable use – therefore greatly increasing its chances of being around for another 120 years.

Ohio is one of 31 states that offer a credit against state tadalafil tablets income tax for preservation of historically significant buildings. According to the program’s 2011 annual report, the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program has provided $272.6M in tax credits to rehabilitate 155 historic buildings since its inception in 2006. Most of these projects would not have been financially viable without the added enticement of the tax credit. Cleveland has by far led the way, with 42 approved projects as of the 2011 report representing a total of almost $750M in overall project costs. Cincinnati is a distant second with 23 approved projects representing $254M in overall project costs. Other cities with multiple approved projects include Akron (10 projects totaling $32.8M), Dayton (3 projects totaling $29M), and Ironton (3 projects totaling $23.6M).

The benefit of the credit goes beyond the fact that buy flonase it enables projects which normally would not be viable. Each dollar in tax credits leverages additional investment. These additional investments are measured by a “leveraged investment ratio.” For example, a $10M project receiving $5M in tax credits would have a leveraged investment ratio of 2.0 (the $10M total project investment divided by the $5M in tax credits — 10 / 5 = 2). The Cleveland projects have a reported leveraged investment ratio of 6.38 ($116,974,685 in tax credits generating $746,830,000 in total project costs). The 23 approved projects in Cincinnati represent the best return on investment for tax payers, leveraging $7.80 for each dollar of tax credit.

The requirements to qualify for the tax credits are stringent. Each project must first demonstrate that it is historically significant. This is most commonly done by placement on the National Register of Historic of Places – either as an individual property or as a “contributing” property in a registered historic district. The project must then demonstrate that it meets the “substantial rehabilitation test.” In order to meet this test the investment in the property must exceed the “adjusted basis” value of the property. This value is calculated by subtracting the cost of the land and depreciation from the property’s purchase price and then adding in any capital improvements done prior adalat to the restoration. Lastly, detailed documentation must be presented to demonstrate that the work done to the property meets the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. The work must all be reviewed and approved before the project can start and the finished project must be inspected before the tax credit can be applied.

As state and national budgets continue to tighten it is important that preservations advocate for the funding necessary to sustain these crucial programs. The majority of historic buildings in the United States are not at all protected from demolition or any other type of alteration. It is a common misperception that a listing on the National Register provides protection to a property. Federal and state governments do almost nothing to protect privately held historic properties. Only local ordinances can require a certificate of demolition or other means for reviewing properties that are scheduled to be destroyed or significantly altered. Even then these decisions can be overturned if the owner can prove that the regulation constitutes an undue financial hardship. Therefore, the historic preservation tax credits are often the only thing glucovance cost that can save a historic property and put it back into productive use.

According to Shaw Sprague, the Associate Director for Policy and Government http://pharmacy-7days-canadian.com/ Relations at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the current fiscal cliff negotiations present a real threat to these important tax credits. “The HTC (Historic Tax Credit) is a small part of a much larger package of tax credits related to real estate that includes, among others, the New Market Tax Credits. While the Trust recognizes the need for responsible fiscal policy it is our hope that any cuts to the real estate tax credits will be applied evenhandedly and not put an undue burden on this important program,” said Sprague. “Even a small change in the federal tax credit, from say a 20% credit to a 15% credit, would have the effect of making many projects no longer financially viable for developers and would directly result in less preservation and more demolitions.”

The National Trust, working in conjunction with the Historic Tax Credit Coalition, has put together a website that includes further information about the tax credit as well as ways for preservation activists to become more involved. The Trust is not
only working to protect the current tax credits. They have also drafted the Creating American Prosperity through Preservation (CAPP) Act. This act aims to build on the successes of the current tax credit by symmetrel increasing credits for smaller projects as well as making the credit more accessible to a larger group of non-profits and local governments. The CAPP Act also aims to increase credits for projects that effectively use green technology. The easiest way to keep up on the current negotiations around the tax credit as well as the progress of the CAPP Act is by signing the Historic Tax Credit Pledge and agreeing to receive updates from the National Trust.

The benefits of both the state and federal tax credits are obvious. Without these credits many important and significant buildings would be forever lost to the “progress” of our quickly changing cities. However, the fate of these credits ultimately rest in the hands of our elected leaders. It is our duty as preservationists, urbanists, and activists for well-functioning cities to continue to have our voices heard about this important issue.

— by Nick Gurich

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