Nebraska can award tax credits totaling $15 million a year for historic property rehabilitation.
A report from the University of Nebraska’s Bureau of Business Research shows the return on that investment is a little more than $128 million.
The Nebraska Historic Tax Credit program began in 2015 and provides a 20 percent state tax credit (up to a limit of $1 million for a single project) for eligible expenditures made for rehabilitating qualified historic buildings and structures.
Ryan Reed, tax credit coordinator with the State Historic Preservation Office, says each project is a big undertaking.
“When you’re rehabbing a building, you need a roofer, you need a mason, you need a carpenter, so it’s generating jobs in those smaller communities,” Reed tells Nebraska Radio Network. “When the buildings are completed, they’re still creating jobs. There are people who have to work within the buildings. There are now people living upstairs in these mixed use buildings.”
The report finds 17 of the 23 rehabilitation projects took place in distressed areas of the state. That has created a total of 606 residential units.
“We’re definitely pleased with results, especially since we’re seeing more and more projects coming in from outside of Omaha and Lincoln,” Reed says. “We knew we’d see a lot of development there, because of a higher concentration of historic buildings.”
Commercial and residential rehab projects from Omaha to Chadron have benefited from the incentive.
AUDIO: Mike Loizzo reports [:41]