Governor Chet Culver has approved a bill that sets aside 45-million dollars worth of tax credits for developers preserving historic buildings in Iowa. The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs will award the tax credits for restoration or renovation of buildings on the National Historic Register.
Linn County Supervisor Linda Langston says the tax credits could help save a neighborhood in a city like Cedar Rapids. "Those tax credits can oftentimes mean the difference between a good rehabilitation project or a not so good one and help keep the culture of a community," Langston says. "If you don’t have those, then you end up with sometimes that kind of blah look."
Gordon Henrickson of the State Historical Society says the tax credits are a really important investment in Iowa’s history. "I believe that the way that we identify ourselves as Iowans has to do with where we come from," he says. "When we look at the hometowns and look at the historic buildings, that’s what kind of defines the character of a community."
Chris Ales, president of Signature Development in Davenport, says his company has restored several historic buildings for senior housing and he expects his company will qualify for some of the tax credits. "We’ve really been on hold for the last 12 months so this puts us back in business," Ales says. State officials expect the 45-million in tax credits to leverage more than 80-million dollars in private development over the next three years.