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News & Press: Legislative Memos to the Capitol

Support for SB 132

Thursday, September 19, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Megan Purtell
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TO: Members, Senate Committee on Workforce Development, Forestry, Mining, and


FROM: Carol Karls, President, Wisconsin Economic Development Association

DATE: September 18, 2013

RE: Support for SB 132 – Increasing the amount of the supplement to the federal historic rehabilitation tax credit

The Wisconsin Economic Development Association is a statewide association consisting of over 450 economic development practitioners. WEDA supports state policies that strengthen our economy and create jobs. WEDA supports Senate Bill 132 which would increase the Wisconsin Supplemental Historic Preservation Credit from 5 percent to 20 percent of qualified rehabilitation expenses.

The preservation tax credit can benefit every corner of the state as there is at least one site listed on the National Register of Historic Places in every Wisconsin county. Empty storefronts and deteriorating buildings in both urban and rural areas can be rehabilitated to help revitalize the local economy and provide more intangible benefits such as community pride and a historical consciousness.

Historic preservation is about more than conserving old buildings, it is an economic development tool that stimulates the economy in both the short term and in the long run.

In the short term, the local economy benefits from the purchase of supplies and materials used in the restoration and in the creation of construction jobs. The tax credit plays an essential role in spurring this economic activity because the guidelines for restoration specify what sort of material and tools may be used, which increases the expense of the project to a degree that some projects would not be feasible without the tax credit freeing up capital.

Over a longer period, the community benefits from increased commercial activity (as the property must be used for income-producing activity to qualify for the federal designation), higher property values, and increased tourist activity in some cases.

Thank you for your consideration of SB 132. The association looks forward to your support.

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