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What We Stand to Lose if Minnesota’s Historic Tax Credit Disappears for Good

March 26, 2021

Carter Vargo, Vice President – Corporate

The Minnesota Historic Structure Rehabilitation State Tax credit is set to expire on June 30, 2021, and that could mean big changes to the Minnesota Historic Architecture found throughout our state. While the subject of historic tax credits might seem very boring to some, they have played a key role in revitalizing many of the neighborhoods that we have all grown to love. These tax credits make it feasible for developers to restore a building to its historic condition rather than looking at the building as land value alone.

Consider some of the landmark buildings in Minneapolis that many of us enjoy; without historic tax credits the Ford Center, Loose Wiles, State Theater, and the Hewing Hotel, to name a few, would not exist as we know them today. Many of these buildings were past the point of repair if the state hadn’t provided the additional resources necessary to preserve these buildings.

Private development of historic buildings is a risky business. From hidden anomalies found in the walls to a structure that has been compromised due to years of neglect, developers take on an extra burden. With the extension of Minnesota’s historic tax credit program, it makes it much more feasible and desirable to take on these projects.

The state’s tax credit program not only allows us to retain our historic structures in a manner that honors their past, but it also creates jobs for many in the construction industry. At RJM we are highly actively involved in historic renovation projects. Currently, our multifamily team is working to convert the Duffey Paper Building in the North Loop from an old warehouse – that was left sitting vacant for years – into a thriving and vibrant mixed-use apartment and retail building. This project provides affordable options for housing for people that want to be close to downtown and the North Loop and couldn’t afford the housing in the area in any other way.

The Duffey project alone is creating over 100 full-time employee positions during construction and additional full-time positions once the building is operational. Jobs of this kind cannot be created if the tax credit program expires as scheduled.

So, what can you do about it?

Call or email your legislator and tell them that you don’t want to see the State Tax Credit expire. RevitalizeMN, a historic collaboration initiative has been created to provide additional resources and help voice the concerns of the people.

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