Cedar Rapids tour emphasizes importance of federal historic tax credits

Save CR Heritage invites public to event Monday

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CEDAR RAPIDS — While the federal historic rehabilitation tax credit faces an uncertain future in the U.S. House and Senate tax reform bills, a Cedar Rapids group is hosting a tour to highlight the importance of the tax credit to future preservation and development projects.

Republicans in Congress continue to push for tax reform, and the proposed U.S. Senate tax reform bill cuts the tax credit in half. The U.S. House bill eliminates the historic tax credit altogether.

The federal historic rehabilitation tax credit was used by more than 250 projects in Iowa between 2002 and 2016, helped spur more than $1 billion in development and produced nearly $230 million in tax revenue, according to the National Park Service, which implements the program.

The program also helped create nearly 9,000 temporary construction jobs and nearly 11,000 permanent jobs in the state, according to the National Park Service.

Developers, preservationists and city officials say it helps make historic renovation and development projects feasible.

To emphasize what they believe is an important federal program, Save CR Heritage is hosting a tour of local projects that received historic tax credits.

The event begins at 11 a.m. Monday at the CSPS Hall, 1103 Third St. SE. Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett will speak about what he believes is the importance of retaining the tax credit.

The event is free to the public.

Following Corbett’s remarks, those in attendance are invited on a self-guided tour of local buildings that were awarded the historic tax credits during renovations, including the Paramount Theatre, 123 Third Ave. SE, and Cedar Rapids City Hall, 101 First St. SE.

Other stops on the tour are Commonwealth Apartments, 1400 Second Ave. SE; the Smulekoff’s Building, 97 Third Ave. SE; and Lion Bridge Brewing Co., 59 16th Ave. SW.

Each stop will be open for tours between noon and 2 p.m.

Mark Stoffer Hunter, a board member for Save CR Heritage and a historian for The History Center, said he support the federal historic tax credit program.

“Cedar Rapids would not be what it is today, especially after the flood, without those federal tax credits,” he said. “This is something that should not be taken away. It’s been proven to be a positive for building owners and developers who want to bring properties back to life.”

l Comments: (319) 368-8516; makayla.tendall@thegazette.com

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