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Turner, Cryan, Ruiz Bill to Boost Historic Preservation Efforts Clears Committee

TRENTON – Legislation which would help preserve historic properties was approved by the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee today. The bill is sponsored by Senators Shirley Turner, Joe Cryan and M. Teresa Ruiz.

“Historic preservation is a productive way of providing economic renewal to our communities,” said Senator Turner (D-Hunterdon/Mercer). “This is a benefit for urban, suburban and rural towns where historic properties can be a strong attraction for tourism and economic development. Not only will this legislation help preserve historic buildings, but also stimulate local economies and get people back to work, which we need now more than ever.”

The bill, S-412, would establish the “Historic Property Reinvestment Act” to provide tax credits for the cost of rehabilitating historic properties, including homes and businesses.

“This is a financially-responsible way to help protect and preserve historic properties in New Jersey,” said Senator Cryan (D-Union). “We have a great history to be proud of and there are homes and businesses throughout the state that are part of that history. Tax breaks will allow homeowners and business operators to invest in historically-significant properties that they own.”

The bill creates tax credits up to 25 percent of the taxpayer’s spending on the properties. The credits for residences would be capped at $25,000 during a ten-year period with no caps for business properties. The homeowners’ tax credit would apply to gross income tax liabilities, while the business tax credit applies against businesses’ corporation business tax and insurance tax liabilities.

“For too long, many of our oldest and most beautiful buildings have been neglected and left to fall into poor condition,” said Senator Ruiz (D-Essex). “This legislation will incentivize revitalizing homes and businesses which reflect the long history of our state, uplifting the surrounding neighborhoods along the way.”

A homeowner seeking a tax credit must spend no more than 60 percent of the cost of rehabilitation on interior rehabilitation and must own and occupy the qualified property as a principal residence for twelve consecutive months following the completion of the rehabilitation. A business must have eligible rehabilitation expenditures greater than $5,000.

The bill requires a written report to the Governor and the Legislature detailing the number and total amount of tax credits granted for the rehabilitation of qualified properties, the geographical distribution of the credits, a summary of the tax credit transfer program, an evaluation of the effectiveness of the tax credits in promoting the rehabilitation of historic properties.

The bill was released from committee by a vote of 4-0.