TN lawmakers push for historic tax credit

State historic tax credit proposal

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Currently, Tennessee does not offer a state tax credit for the rehabilitation of historic buildings and lawmakers are working to change that.

From Crosstown Concourse to the Chisca Hotel and Tennessee Brewery, Memphis has made a name for itself with adaptive reuse.

“One of the things that our visitors want to see is what makes us authentic and that’s why Memphis shines,” said June Waddle West, Memphis Heritage executive director.

However, historic preservation advocates like June Waddle West say there’s more to be done if Tennessee would offer a historic tax credit, mirroring an existing federal credit that made projects like Crosstown Concourse possible.

“With this assistance and this incentive we can do more and more,” said West.

A plan has been proposed in the general assembly with a tiered approach. Qualified buildings in Shelby County would get a 20 percent credit, with projects in rural counties eligible for 30 percent.

This week, Memphis City Council members voted on a resolution in support of the proposal.

State Representative Kevin Vaughan, from Collierville, is a sponsor.

“A lot of times preservation of these historic structures involves additional project costs that aren’t necessarily involved with new construction of the remodeling of a newer building,” said Vaughan.

“Older buildings have character... it does give it a unique distinction,” said Anita Towe, visitor.

The Towe family visited from Decatur, Alabama Firday. They say they chose Memphis for a short trip.

Based on its history and given the green light from Nashville, more of that history could be spruced up soon.

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