Historic preservation projects may be in jeopardy with new tax credit eliminations

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV)—The Georgia State Senate might eliminate the Historic Tax Credit, which supports preservation projects in Savannah.

WSAV digital reporter, Claire Going, has a closer look at how the Historic Savannah Foundation is working to safeguard historic sites in our city.

This week, a bill is under consideration in the State Senate Finance Committee that would dissolve the State’s Historic Preservation tax credit.

The Savannah Historic Foundation says if this bill is passed, it could be a detriment to historic preservation sites in the city.

“It really is the benefits it brings to Savannah, and to even income in Savannah,” CEO and President of Historic Savannah Foundation Sue Adler said. “Additionally, people who want to invest here, buy property, or perhaps renovate an old building, that’s an incentive for them. And we lose that.”

If passed, the bill would also reduce the state’s contribution to matching funds for the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit by 50 percent.

“It’s such a need for the city. Forget the Savannah Historic Foundation,” Adler said. “I think it’s criminal to do that. Housing is so important and it’s such an easy fix.”

Savannah has benefitted greatly from both the Housing Tax Credit and low-income housing tax credit, which have financed the development of more than 150,000 affordable residences and helped to support nearly 200,000 construction jobs.

“The Historic Savannah Foundation is looking at doing some more purchasing of properties in Cuyler-Brownsville,” Adler said. “Buying a building here or there is one thing, but helping a neighborhood come back to life is another.”

Adler urges anyone to consider reaching out to their representatives about keeping the State’s matching portion of the historic tax credit.

“It’s such a beautiful city we live in. And such a special place with such a rich history. So, if we don’t continue to preserve it and maintain it, it would be less attractive, I would think, our tourists, our visitors. And I think for residents to walk around this city and not be able to appreciate the incredible buildings,” she said.

Senators Jackson and Watson are standing members of this committee HSF is reaching out to about the importance of maintaining the state’s valuable Historic Tax Credit (HTC) and fully funding the State’s Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program.

Senator Lester Jackson: Lester.jackson@senate.ga.gov
Senator Ben Watson: Ben.watson@senate.ga.gov

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