McCrory seeks to preserve historic tax credit
Governor Pat McCrory said that his proposed 2014-15 budget would include a new program to replace the state's Historic Tax Credit program, which is scheduled to expire on Dec. 31.
That comes as a relief to Hendersonville city officials and the City Council, which are trying to guide a renovation of the historic Grey Hosiery Mill.
McCrory proposed the new Historic Rehabilitation Investment Program, which he said would encourage historic preservation while costing the state 40 percent less than the sunsetting Historic Preservation Tax Credit. He made the announcement on April 23 in front of a historic cotton mill in High Point that has been renovated for use by BuzziSpace, a Belgium company that makes high-quality, green office furniture.
Hendersonville officials welcomed the announcement.
"It buys us a little more time not only as it relates to the Grey Hosiery Mill but for all the historic structures we have downtown," City Manager John Connet said. "Those tax credits are a good incentive to remodel those buildings. It was supposed to sunset at the end of calendar year and there's been lots of pressure from historic districts and cities and towns (to keep it). Those tax credits are essential for developers to develop some of these buildings. Without the tax credits some of these buildings will continue to fall into disrepair. There's no incentive to rehabilitate them."
The City Council has turned over marketing of the 99-year-old Grey Hosiery Mill to Preservation North Carolina, which works with developers and uses the North Carolina tax credit to rehabilitate historic buildings for new uses.
Preservation North Carolina officials and a panel of local people were scheduled to hear presentations from developers who want to use the property for new businesses, which include at least one hotel and a mixed-retail use. The City Council has asked Preservation North Carolina to vet the developers' proposals and recommend one.
Since 1976, historic preservation incentives provided by the state and federal governments have helped bring in over $1.7 billion in private investment to the state while preserving North Carolina's historic character, the governor's office said.
"Old, abandoned mills and factories are becoming housing and business spaces that are sparking economic revitalization in towns and cities across our state," McCrory said.