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Iowa developer moves forward amid historic tax credit limbo

March 2, 2018

In this Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018 photo, David Deeds with JSA Development, is moving forward with plans to restore four historic homes in northeast Iowa even as state lawmakers consider curtailing historic preservation tax credits that are essential to the project in Waterloo, Iowa. (Brandon Pollock/The Courier via AP)

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — A developer is moving forward with plans to restore four historic homes in northeastern Iowa even as state lawmakers consider curtailing historic preservation tax credits that are essential to the project.

JSA Development is counting on state historic preservation tax credits to help offset the cost of repairing four historically significant houses in Waterloo. But the Iowa Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would cut $10 million worth of funding for the tax credit program next year and eliminate it by 2025.

Contractors already have begun working on one of the homes.

JSA official David Deeds told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier that historic renovations aren’t feasible without the tax credits, which help close financing gaps.

Deeds said that two of his project’s restorations are “marginally” viable even with state and federal tax credits.

“We’re doing it for what we believe to be good for the community,” he said. “You’re going to see these houses from Lincoln Park, from downtown. They’re going to make a statement about what’s happening in this neighborhood as a whole.”

Waterloo City Council members voted Monday to pass a resolution encouraging state lawmakers to preserve the tax credit program.

The resolution said that the state funding level already leaves many proposed projects on the table. Last fall, developers sought $56 million in credits but only $19 million was available.

Deeds said every $1 of tax credit leverages $3.20 of private investment. He said historic renovation jobs require more skilled labor, which creates more jobs and better wages.

Deeds said that historic preservation tax credits aren’t “adding to the burden on our taxpayers because the infrastructure is already there.”

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Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, http://www.wcfcourier.com

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