Greensboro - State and federal tax credit programs for the renovation of eligible historic properties in the state of North Carolina are set to expire in 2014, unless the legislature opts to pass a bill to renew them. The pending deadline is why the City of Greensboro is hosting a free workshop Thursday and Friday for commercial and private property owners who wish to learn about the process of applying for historic property rehabilitation tax credits.
According to the city, in Greensboro, alone, there are 2,000 commercial and private properties eligible for renovation tax credits. The state has 500 historical districts on the national register, nine of which are in Greensboro.
The state provides a 30 percent tax credit for the rehabilitation of non-income-producing/residential properties, which primarily are private homes. A federal income tax credit of 20 percent is available for rehabilitation of income-producing, historic commercial properties. Additionally, the state authorizes a 20 percent tax credit for taxpayers who receive the federal tax credit. So, technically, the owners of income-generating commercial properties, like museums, can receive up to 40 percent combined tax credits against eligible project costs.
Residents of private homes that qualify for the state tax credit for renovations must need at least $25,000 worth of repairs. A homeowner of a Fisher Park property renovated using that tax credit told WFMY News 2 he suggests homeowners apply for the tax credit before they even begin the renovation process, as this can alleviate problems in submitting documentation to prove that the renovations were warranted.
Fisher Park, the oldest suburb in Greensboro, has 43 homes that have been renovated (some almost fully) using the state tax credit program and totals about $4 million in estimated tax credits awarded. Hanna Cockburn, with the City of Greensboro's Planning and Community Development department, said the percentages for tax credits available are fixed. She said she did not know if there is a cap on estimated renovation costs. Cockburn and city Planning and Community Development member Mike Cowhig affirmed projects can be reauthorized, as needed, if historic property owners reapply. Sometimes, however, it can take six to 12 months to receive the tax credit for each project.
Historic property owners who are unsure whether their properties are eligible for these renovation tax credits can visit the National Register of Historic Places and the State Historic Preservation Office or check with the City of Greensboro's Planning and Community Development department.
Cockburn said space still is available in both workshop sessions, and people can register on-site for the sessions right before the classes begin. The first workshop is from 12:30 to 5 p.m. Thursday at the Greensboro Historical Museum, and the second workshop is from 9 a.m. to 12:30 pm. on June 28 at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.