OK, I’m a few days behind on this news…but to those preservation-minded individuals in the area, its huge.
Back on May 15th, Sonny signed House Bill 851, which increases the historic preservation tax credit from $5,000 per building renovation/rehabilitation project cap to a whopping $100,000 for residential properties and $300,000 for commercial. ALSO, it increases the tax credit to 25% of the total project cost for both residential and commercial. Much better than the old 10% for residential and 20% for commercial!
As always, in order to qualify the building must either be individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places or a contributing structure in a NRHP-listed historic district. To those a little gun shy about local historic districts as of late, don’t confuse a National Register District with a local historic district, as they are completely separate entities. In fact, Decatur’s MAK District is the only historic district in Decatur that is both a local historic district and a National Register district. None of the other local districts have yet to apply for NRHP status. Both of Decatur’s current National Register areas are in Oakhurst. South Candler/Agnes Scott and Winonna Park are the only National Register Districts in Decatur. To see a full list of Decatur properties on the NRHP, click here and search “GA” and “Decatur”. (Not all search results are in the city of Decatur)
Unlike a local historic district, National Register districts exist mainly to provide tax incentives to property owners, along with providing some pseudo-protection in the case that the state or federal government wants to tear down your property (to build a highway or government building, etc…)
If you already own a NRHP property and want to rehab it to receive the tax credit, the final step is getting your renovation plans approved by the National Park Service.
Hopefully this mammoth increase will not only motivate residents to rehab their historic properties, but also create a few more NRHP districts in the area, which get residents learning more about the unique heritage of their neighborhoods.