Pennsylvania is starting small with its new state historic tax credits, and there are some pending decisions on how it will be administered, but the program is a tremendous move forward with great potential for the commonwealth, according to Scott Doyle.
Doyle, the manager of the Grants and Historical Markers division of the Bureau for Historic Preservation, part of the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, gave an in-depth presentation on the tax credit program this morning to about 30 developers and other interested professionals at the monthly meeting of the Central Pennsylvania Preservation Society at the Cork Factory Hotel in Lancaster.
Pennsylvania last year authorized state historic tax credits in legislation sponsored by Lancaster County Republican Sen. Lloyd Smucker. State credits can be used in conjunction with federal ones; the state program gets under way July 1.
Pennsylvania ranked fourth in 2012 among states for use of federal historic tax credits, Doyle said. Adding state tax credits to developers' financial toolkits will make more projects feasible, aiding the effort to bring buildings back to life in places such as Harrisburg, Lancaster and York.
Initial funding is $3 million per year, so only a few projects can be funded, Doyle said. He expressed hope the program would be expanded, saying the state could readily put $50 million to $60 million in credits to good use.
A $50 million credit would provide a 5 percent to 8 percent annual return on the state's investment, according to his presentation.
Here are details from the event: