ABBEVILLE – The preservation of monuments received a big boost from the passing of a law to reduce development costs.
Abbeville City Council took the first steps by passing the Bailey Act, a measure that offers tax incentives to developers interested in renovating historic properties.
The invoice is a special property tax incentive for the renovation of historic buildings. If a property owner invests at least 50% of the estimated value of their building back in the building and the work is eligible and approved, the property’s estimated value will be frozen for the next 10 years at the value prior to refurbishment.
It’s part of the region’s economic development program, said Mike Clary, the city’s community development director. Grants are available locally, and developers can receive state and state tax credits.
“This is a really useful economic development tool, especially for the city center and for every historic building in the city and county,” he said.
State law allows local governments to pass such laws and set percentage thresholds and tax break periods, he said. Abbeville County Council will be considering a similar move.
Eligible structures must be in the historic district and / or be at least 50 years old and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The developers first met with the city staff to discuss their project. Then apply for the bill and present your project to the local Commission for the Protection of Historic Real Estate, Clary said. You must also follow the Home Secretary’s standards for the treatment of historic real estate.
Property owners don’t need to hold a building like it was a retail store from 100 years ago. The builder just has to respect the historical structure of a building whenever possible, he said.
For example, let’s say a developer buys a large historic building downtown that needs work, Clary said. It could be valued at $ 100,000. After the developer completes the work, the building can be valued at $ 500,000. Under the terms of the bill, the developer would pay $ 100,000 in property tax for 10 years, provided a final inspection determines that all agreed improvements have been made.
The city will not lose any tax revenue, he said. The measure encourages developers to move to the city.
“This is a very useful tool to offset some of the investment required,” said Clary.
Developers reaching out to city officials about larger downtown buildings sparked conversations about how the city can help people invest in the community, Clary said. City officials have often asked developers questions about buildings.
Nobody has used it yet, and there is no particular developer who has initiated the invoice verification.
It is a desire to make the city as attractive as possible to outside investment and to preserve the local historic real estate, Clary said.
City officials will meet with the local Commission for the Protection of Historic Property on April 15 to discuss the measure.
The city’s historic district has more than 60 properties that could be eligible for a bill, he said.
Contact staff writer Robert Jordan at 864-943-5650.