The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

July 27, 2013

HART: Historic tax credits equal investment

Efforts to fix up Iowa’s historic properties and business districts got a boost this year. During the 2013 session, the Legislature expanded opportunities for Iowans to use state historic tax credits.

This program attracts private investment to neighborhoods, creates jobs, enhances property values and develops affordable housing by providing an income tax credit worth 25 percent of qualified rehabilitation costs for historic buildings. To date, state historic tax credits have leveraged more than $1 billion in rehabilitation costs by private investors in Iowa communities.

We’ve improved this popular program with Senate File 436, which:

1. Changes the definition of commercial property. Previously, Iowa law categorized property as residential, barn or commercial. We now have only two categories: commercial and other than commercial property. This will allow more properties that do not earn income to qualify for the tax credit.

2. Helps more small projects qualify for tax credits by decreasing the dollar amount for the project cost. For commercial property projects, the amount to qualify for the tax credit is now 50 percent of the value of the building or $50,000, whichever is less. Buildings other than commercial — historic churches and other nonprofits — qualify for the tax credit if the project is 25 percent of the value or $25,000.

3. Raises the cap on projects that qualify for the Small Project Fund. Projects with expenses as high as $750,000 now qualify as “small” and may be submitted and funded at any time of year.

4. Increases the length of time available to complete a project by offering a 12-month extension if more than half of the qualifying rehabilitation funds have been spent within the first 60 months of the project.

We had hoped to make the State Historic Tax Credit Program even better when the Legislature gave bipartisan approval to increase the amount of historic tax credits by $50 million. Unfortunately, Gov. Branstad vetoed that effort to encourage rehabilitation of our historic properties and business districts.

For complete details on State Historic Preservation Tax Credits, visit http://tinyurl.com/SHPTIP or call the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs at 515-281-5111.

Senator Rita Hart represents Clinton County and northern Scott County in the Iowa Senate.

 

 

1
Text Only
Top News
  • The case for separate beds

    The other night I slept on a twin bed in the guest room of the house I share with my husband and our two kids.
    It was the best night's sleep I've had in years.

    April 17, 2014

  • Raw oysters spike U.S. rise in bacterial infections, CDC reports

    Raw oysters, so good with hot sauce, increasingly can carry something even more unsettling to the stomach: A bacteria linked to vomiting, diarrhea and pain.

    April 17, 2014

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 17, 2014

  • Astronomers spot most Earth-like planet yet

    Astronomers have discovered what they say is the most Earth-like planet yet detected — a distant, rocky world that's similar in size to our own and exists in the Goldilocks zone where it's not too hot and not too cold for life.

    The find, announced Thursday, excited planet hunters who have been scouring the Milky Way galaxy for years for potentially habitable places outside our solar system.

    April 17, 2014

  • Defend 'Obamacare' unabashedly, some Democrats say

    With enrollments higher than expected, and costs lower, some Democrats say it's time to stop hiding from the president's health care overhaul, even in this year's toughest Senate elections.

    Republicans practically dare Democrats to embrace "Obamacare," the GOP's favorite target in most congressional campaigns. Yet pro-Democratic activists in Alaska are doing just that, and a number of strategists elsewhere hope it will spread.

    April 17, 2014

  • Search for Chicago site for George Lucas museum

    As Yoda might say: A site for a museum you must find.

    Those are the marching orders Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is giving a dozen civic leaders as the city searches for a potential location for an interactive museum to house filmmaker George Lucas' collection of art and filmmaking memorabilia.

    April 17, 2014

  • Illinois unemployment drops to 5-year-low

    State officials say unemployment in Illinois dropped in March to 8.4 percent. That's its lowest level since 2009.

    April 17, 2014

  • Gaming commission rejects Cedar Rapids casino

    The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission rejected a proposed $164 million Cedar Rapids casino Thursday, saying it would hurt existing casinos.

    Supporters of the Cedar Crossing Casino development have said it would give an economic boost to Cedar Rapids and the region. They also argued it would be a catalyst for development in an area ravaged by a 2008 flood, create jobs and generate millions for tax revenue and charities.

    April 17, 2014

  • Iowa Senate race suddenly more competitive

    A catchy political ad and a gotcha video have raised Republican hopes of capturing the Senate seat in Iowa, a prospect that would greatly enhance the party's chances of regaining control of the Senate.

    Republicans are adding the seat, held for three decades by retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, to their list of winnable races in the November midterm elections.

    April 17, 2014

  • Evacuation came too late for many on sinking ferry

    An immediate evacuation order was not issued for the ferry that sank off South Korea's southern coast, likely with scores of people trapped inside, because officers on the bridge were trying to stabilize the vessel after it started to list amid confusion and chaos, a crew member said Thursday.

    Meanwhile, the coast guard said it was investigating whether the ferry's captain was one of the first ones off the sinking ship.

    April 17, 2014

AP Video