Bill Would Provide Tax Incentives, Grants for Preservation Projects

July 2010Newsletters In the Zone

House Bill 42 , sponsored by state Rep. Bob Freeman (D-Northampton), would establish the Historic Preservation Incentive Grant Program within the Department of Community and Economic Development. The program is designed to provide tax credits for certain historic commercial projects—up to $500,000—and grants for certain residential external rehabilitation or restoration projects—up to $15,000.

"These tax incentives and credits can act as a form of economic stimulus for older communities, creating restoration and construction jobs while also preserving historic buildings and improving the look of older communities," Freeman said.

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission would review requests within 45 days of application, with priority given to properties located within Elm Street and Main Street communities, enterprise zones and historic districts. All projects would have to be completed within two years.

"In order to preserve historic buildings, it is vital that we provide assistance to owners to renovate and preserve," Freeman said. "These buildings are sometimes very costly to renovate and, because of that, can fall into disrepair. This bill can make a difference for an owner."

Freeman also co-sponsored a companion bill that would provide tax incentives for construction projects for environmentally friendly buildings. The measure would provide incentives for both the construction of high performance buildings as well as the renovation of existing buildings, making them high performance. The bill is sponsored by state Rep. Kate Harper (R-Montgomery).

For more information, please contact Robert W. Gundlach, Jr. at 215.918.3636 or [email protected].