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Lawmakers consider tax credits to bolster historic preservation

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Lawmakers want to help finance the rehabilitation and redevelopment of New Jersey’s historic properties through a new tax credit similar to one unveiled by Gov. Phil Murphy on Oct. 1.

Proposed Senate bills 1740 and 2031 would establish the Historic Property Reinvestment Act to provide tax credits for the costs of rehabilitating historic properties such as homes and businesses.

Those tax credits would be capped at 25 percent per property over a 10-year period. One form of the credit, meant for homeowners, would count as a credit against their gross income tax.

Another version, meant for business owners, would apply to the corporate business tax and insurance tax liabilities.

Homeowners seeking the tax credit cannot spend more than 60 percent of the rehabilitation costs on the interior of the property. Also, the homeowner must use that property as their main residence for 12 months following the project completion.

Business owners will need to have spent at least $5,000 on the project to qualify for the tax credit.

The measure would fall in line with a historic tax preservation credit proposal in Murphy’s economic outline, all aimed at rebuilding New Jersey’s urban centers.

Murphy’s proposal calls for state economic incentives to aid with financing the rehabilitation of historic structures, particularly in cities and downtowns.

The Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee approved the bill at its Oct. 18 meeting, garnering praise from historic preservation groups.

Courtenay Mercer, director of Preservation New Jersey, said the tax credit would put New Jersey in line with 35 other states that already offer similar economic incentives.

“Without a historic preservation tax credit, New Jersey is missing out on a proven tool for economic growth and revitalization,” Mercer told lawmakers.

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Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel Munoz covers politics and state government for NJBIZ. You can contact him at dmunoz@njbiz.com.

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