Loss of historic tax credit could put some historic buildings at risk

Published: Nov. 21, 2017 at 6:28 PM EST
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Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017

(News 12 at 6 O'Clock / NBC 26 News at 7)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – The Miller Theater is one of the projects using the historic tax credit, without it bringing back the Miller Theater may not have been possible.

“We couldn’t have done this project if we didn’t have the incentive,” said Anne Catherine Murray, Executive Director of the Symphony Orchestra Augusta.

Now, the federal historic tax credit is in jeopardy. The tax credit gives those who rehab historic buildings a big break. The credit means 20% of what a person or company would pay in taxes is given back.

Cutting the tax credit in half could be a big problem for some Augusta projects.

"I do think it’s going to impact a lot of the larger projects potentially like the Miller Theater maybe the Sibley Mill complex we have a lot of projects that are still kind of in the preliminary phase, but they had already worked that into their project base.”

Robyn Anderson, Preservation Services Director for Historic Augusta says it could also mean fewer rehabilitation projects.

"There have been cases where a project was less desirable before they learned these programs were out there and ones they could apply for and potentially receive their credits for."

While the bill is working its way through congress, the Miller Theater is finishing up hoping to still get the full tax credit.

"We always repair rather than replace when possible that any kind of new construction is clearly new but fits in with the original look of the building and there are several standards that you have to follow or you don't get the credit."

In just over a month, the Miller Theater rehabilitation project will be completed and it will open its doors for the first time.