Tax credit program important

Published 1:47 pm Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Ohio Senate is considering a budget proposal that would halt historic preservation tax credits for two years and critics are worried progress to many projects across the state would halt as well.

That could be detrimental to many of the cities and towns that have used this government program to revitalize their communities and bring an increase in commerce and employment.

Ironton could be one of those affected cities.

While the tax credit freeze wont impact money that has already been distributed, any future projects to restore historic landmarks and buildings would be shelved for at least two years.

Ironton has seen the benefit of this tax credit program. While a total of $482.3 million in tax credits have been approved for 238 projects across the state since 2007, Ironton was approved for more than $3.8 million in tax credits for three major downtown projects.

The Ro-Na Theater and the Brumberg building, which is part of the Ironton Lofts project, were approved for the funding back in 2011. Before that, the Berg building, which now houses the transit center and Transit Café, was approved through the program.

Without the tax credit program, these renovation projects likely wouldn’t have the momentum they have achieved, or, worse yet, wouldn’t have gotten off the ground at all.

And that will be the case for future historic projects in Ironton and all over the state if the program is suspended.

We hope the Ohio Senate will see that this program is vital for small communities to continue to grow and prosper.