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Preservationists hope bi-partisan bill in Congress can save more Wilmington-area historic buildings

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Ashley Brown
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WHQR
Seabird restaurant is an example of preservation using the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credits

Historic Preservation Credits offer tax breaks to investors and developers who renovate or restore historic buildings. The goal is to make preservation more attractive and affordable — and avoid the demolition of historic buildings or landmarks.

A proposed change to Federal guidelines would make the credits even more valuable.

If the bill passes, the Preservation Tax Credit would temporarily increase from 20% to 30%. For smaller projects — under $2.5 million dollars — the increase would be permanent. The change would also make it easier for non-profits to participate.

Travis Gilbert is the Executive Director for the Historic Wilmington Foundation. He said, “We really believe and feel strongly that the new provisions to the tax credit will strengthen these opportunities for historic preservation.”

He also said he believed the tax credits would help other local organizations: “[The] Growth and Opportunity Act makes it easier for nonprofits, community health centers, art centers, affordable housing and what not to utilize these tax credits by eliminating certain IRS restrictions.”

Gilbert said a number of businesses have already benefited from the program, and hopes the change in the new law will allow others to qualify.