Historic Preservation Tax helping Macon bring in new businesses, restore old buildings

It's fueling new business growth and giving old buildings new life.
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MACON, Georgia(41NBC/WMGT)–Partnerships between Historic Macon and local developers continue to take advantage of the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives. It’s fueling new business growth and giving old buildings new life.

The historic tax credit helps finance the renovation of historic buildings around Macon.

Local contractors like Bryan Nichols have used the historic tax credit to preserve and develop historic buildings within the community.

“Macon leads the way in so many different things but the news of us leading the nation in historic tax credit renovation has been huge just because it shows that we’ve been leading the way not just following other programs,” said Nichols. “Macon and downtown and all of these houses like Bills Hill and all the different areas, they wouldn’t be what they are today if it wasn’t for these programs.”

The Historic Macon Foundation and NewTown Macon have been instrumental in helping these renovation projects come to life.

Historic Macon Foundation first started a tax credit consulting service in 2002, to help developers save and renovate historic properties.

“It really is a percentage of the money that you put into the building that you get back in the form of a tax credit,” said Ethiel Garlington, Executive Director of Historic Macon.

Garlington says the Historic Tax Credit is one tool that renovators can use while working on preservation projects.

“So for instance, lets say you’re doing a project in downtown and it’s a loft apartment and it’s got a store front. You can get up 45 percent of the qualified rehabilitation expenses back in the from of state and federal taxes credits. Once you have those tax credits, you can go to your lender and say hey, we got these discounted tax credits to help finance the whole package,” he said.

Main Street America’s mapping project confirms that not only does Macon have one of the strongest preservation ethos in Georgia, but also in the nation.

This commitment translates to a substantial economic investment, totaling $97.5 million for the 69 tax credit projects completed throughout Macon.

Garlington says the tax credit system is what helps the preservation and development of downtown Macon.

“Having all of those pieces together, having Newtown, having private developers, having banks and lenders, and having residents who are excited about doing these projects, it’s just this incredible ecosystem that’s really taken off in Macon,” he said.

If you’re interested in getting involved in a development project and taking advantage of the tax credit, reach out to Historic Macon.

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