Monday, January 17, 2011 at 1:00 PM
Last week, Cleveland City Council passed a resolution urging state politicians to back a tax credit to restore historic buildings for re-use. ideastream's Mhari Saito reports that what will happen with the popular program is a huge question mark.
Former Republican Governor Bob Taft signed the Historic Preservation Tax Credit into law during his final days in office in 2006. The program was touted as a way to spur development and create jobs by helping developers get tax credits to offset the costs of rehabbing historic buildings. Across the state 111 projects - including 14 on Cleveland's Euclid corridor - have used the tax credit, leveraging $1.2 billion in private investment. Backers like Thomas Yablonsky, executive director of the Historic Gateway Neighborhood Corporation, say projects that receive the tax credit are a net positive for communities and the state.
Thomas Yablonsky: If you can account for all the spending the credit itself brings in with a project you can prove - and other states have done it - the credit more than pays for itself. But you still have to allocate the dollars you've given away in theory in the bidget snd as we go into obviously a state budget that's uncertain we have to find room for this tax credit somewhere.
The state is facing an $8 to $10 billion budget shortfall Yablonsky says he and other advocates are working on shoring up legislative support for the credit.