HB 659 Makes Critical Improvements to KY’s State Historic Preservation Tax Credit
Bill makes historic tax credit more functional and competitive with surrounding states. A much needed boost for Kentucky’s economy, local jobs and state revenue.
WHAT HB 659 DOES AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO KENTUCKY
1. Increases the maximum credit a taxpayer can claim for commercial, income-producing properties from $400,000 to $10 Million
PROBLEM WITH KENTUCKY’S CURRENT HTC PROGRAM
The demand for Kentucky’s Historic Preservation Tax Credit has exceeded its resources since it was signed into law with the JOBS for KY Tax Modernization Bill in 2005. Kentucky’s HTC leverages millions in private capital that likely would not otherwise come to invest in our state, increases the property tax base for local governments, creating new local and state revenues, and restores historic downtowns—a key tourism draw, driving hotel stays, bringing out of state spending to Kentucky, providing jobs and building local pride.
Kentucky’s HTC starts reinvesting in communities throughout the Commonwealth immediately, from Paducah to Pikeville, in both rural and urban areas, by employing skilled labor, purchasing local goods and often putting vacant buildings back into use and on the tax rolls. It’s one of the best tools we have to protect our history while investing in it.
Kentucky’s Historic Preservation Tax Credit has been a vital economic development tool to revitalize neighborhoods, Main Streets and downtowns, put Kentuckians to work and keep them in the workforce, return once-vacant buildings to tax rolls, and generate income for community improvements.
If passed, HB 659 will:
- Increases the maximum credit a taxpayer can claim for commercial, income-producing properties from $400,000 to $10 Million
- Increases the maximum credit a taxpayer can claim for residential, owner-occupied properties from $60,000 to $120,000
- Allows the credit to be transferred to financial institutions that are now taxed under the income tax statutes instead of the bank franchise tax
Benefits to Kentucky:
- Makes Kentucky more competitive with bordering states with better state historic preservation tax credit programs
- Increases access to the credit so more people and communities can utilize and benefit from it
- Reinstates the transferability provision so nonprofits can benefit from the credit
- Allows more projects to benefit statewide
- Helps more communities with revitalization incentives
- Stimulates the economy with increased property, sales and payroll taxes
- Increases appeal to out-of-state developers and businesses
Paducah’s City Hall, a Mid-Century Modern building designed by internationally acclaimed architect Edward Durrell Stone in 1963, was saved from demolition utilizing Kentucky’s Historic Tax Credit. The City of Paducah, McCracken Co., received a Preservation Kentucky Excellence in Preservation Award in 2019 for preserving this important landmark.