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House proposal would aid in improving historic buildings



Published: Wed, May 17, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



The credit would be for up to 25 percent of the amount spent on rehab.

By JEFF ORTEGA

VINDICATOR CORRESPONDENT

COLUMBUS -- A state tax credit would be authorized against corporate franchise or personal income tax for rehabilitating a historic building, under a bill the Ohio House passed Tuesday.

By an 83 to 4 vote, House lawmakers forwarded to the Senate the measure, sponsored by state Rep. Charles Calvert, a Medina Republican.

Calvert said communities would benefit from the proposal through refurbishment of historic buildings and possibly enhanced local tax revenue by new businesses coming in.

According to a legislative analysis of the bill, the proposed credit would equal 25 percent of the taxpayer's building rehabilitation expenses.

A tax credit differs from a tax deduction in that it is subtracted after tax is computed instead of before.

Number of certificates

The State Historic Preservation Officer may approve issuance of not more than 20 tax credit certificates each year under the measure.

The total amount of credits that can be claimed by a taxpayer for the same building can't surpass $250,000 under the bill.

The bill defines "historic building" as a building located in Ohio that is either listed on the National Register of Historic Places, located in a "registered historic district or listed as a historic landmark designated by a local government and certified under federal law and built before 1900."

State Rep. Jennifer Garrison, a Marietta Democrat, said she supported the measure and said she believes it will benefit downtown development, particularly in smaller and rural towns that have been hard-hit economically.

"We are turning to tourism ... to generate jobs," Garrison said.

The bill now moves to the Ohio Senate for further study.




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