Branstad Signs Historic Tax Credit Rewrite

Late yesterday(Tues) Governor Terry Branstad signed legislation that makes significant changes in how the state tax credit for restoration of historic buildings is awarded.

Senator Bill Dotzler, a Democrat from Waterloo, says these tax credits are an important economic development tool.  Dotzler says the bill is a “total rewrite” of the program, however, to make sure the incentive is not misused like the state tax credits for T-V and film productions were a few years ago.

The tax credits for historic preservation had been awarded by a lottery and developers submitted applications even if their project was not ready to begin. Dotzler says that meant some credits were awarded for projects that never got off the ground. The bill creates a new point system for awarding the state tax credits for “historic preservation” and “cultural entertainment districts” and Dotzler says a project must be “shovel ready” to get a credit.

Governor Branstad signed the bill into law at 4:45 yesterday(Tues) afternoon. He held the bill signing ceremony at Salisbury House in Des Moines, which received historic preservation tax credits in 2012 and 2013. The historic estate was built in the 1920s by the owner of a cosmetics company. Carl Weeks is credited with the innovation of combining face powder and cold cream — make-up that is now known as foundation. The home is now owned and being restored by a private foundation.