Fed­er­als­burg build­ings open for his­toric preser­va­tion tax cred­its

Times-Record - - News - By ABBY AN­DREWS aan­drews@car­o­line­times­record.com

FED­ER­ALS­BURG — Now that Fed­er­als­burg has an es­tab­lished Na­tional Reg­is­ter His­toric District, an es­ti­mated 300 to 400 build­ings within it are el­i­gi­ble for their own­ers to ap­ply for state and fed­eral tax cred­its, to help de­fray the costs of preser ving and restor­ing their his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance.

The Fed­er­als­burg Busi­ness and Civic As­so­ci­a­tion hosted an in­for­ma­tional pre­sen­ta­tion on those tax cred­its dur­ing its meet­ing Wed­nes­day, March 29.

Fed­er­als­burg Main Street Man­ager Ge­orge “Happy” Mayer said the town’s down­town area was of­fi­cially rec­og­nized in June 2016 as a Na­tional Reg­is­ter His­toric District.

To qual­ify for the tax cred­its dis­cussed, a build­ing must ei­ther be in such a district, or be in­di­vid­u­ally listed on the Na­tional Reg­is­ter of His­toric Places.

Mayer said there are two build­ings in town out­side the district, but on the reg­is­ter: Ex­eter and the log cabin in Cham­bers Park.

Nakita Reed, an ar­chi­tect with En­core Sus­tain­able De­sign, a firm spe­cial­iz­ing in his­toric preser­va­tion and sus­tain­able de­sign, went over the cred­its avail­able for own­ers of res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial prop­er­ties, the process for ap­ply­ing and the work deemed el­i­gi­ble.

In gen­eral, Reed said, any com­po­nent that phys­i­cally stays with the build­ing is el­i­gi­ble for the tax cred­its, such as walls, floors, ceil­ings, pan­el­ing and tiles, win­dows and doors, chim­neys, stairs and more.

Not on that list are cab­i­nets and car­pet­ing that is tacked in place, in­stead of glued, Reed said.

There are four tax cred­its avail­able, Reed said, des­ig­nated for home­own­ers or own­ers of small or large com­mer­cial projects. Non­prof­its are also el­i­gi­ble for the tax cred­its, through a process called syn­di­ca­tion.

Of the four cred­its re­viewed, Reed said only the Mary­land State His­toric Tax Credit is com­pet­i­tive and has an ap­pli­ca­tion dead­line; the other three are non­com­pet­i­tive and ap­pli­ca­tions are ac­cepted on a rolling ba­sis.

The tax cred­its all cover 20 to 25 per­cent of qual­i­fy­ing work, claimed over a five-year pe­riod.

Reed said it was im­por­tant to re­mem­ber con­struc­tion on a project should not start un­til the se­cond of three parts of the ap­pli­ca­tion process has been com­pleted, as tax cred­its can be re­claimed if work is done that is de­ter­mined to be out­side the set stan­dards.

Ward Bucher, also with En­core, re­viewed two lo­cal projects the firm has com­pleted.

Bucher said the ap­pli­ca­tion re­quires a de­scrip­tion of the build­ing’s his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance, pic­tures of the in­te­rior and ex­te­rior in their cur­rent con­di­tion, schemat­ics of the cur­rent lay­out and the pro­posed ren­o­va­tion and a de­scrip­tion of how each sec­tion will be re­habbed.

After work is done, photos must be sub­mit­ted from the same an­gles, Bucher said, to show the trans­for­ma­tion of the space, along with an item­ized list of fi­nal costs, in­clud­ing lo­cal grants and fund­ing.

Bucher said there are pros and cons to ac­cept­ing the tax credit.

While prop­erty own­ers get a dol­lar-for-dol­lar credit, and the restora­tion works im­proves the com­mu­nity, Bucher said, some own­ers are wary of the agency re­views of their build­ing’s ex­te­rior and in­te­rior. There is also a fiveyear re­stric­tion on fur­ther de­sign changes, and own­ers pay in­come tax on the tax credit.

For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact En­core’s Eas­ton of­fice at 410-7709009 or its An­napo­lis of­fice at 301965-0096.

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