Historic home restoration tax credit on the chopping block - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Historic home restoration tax credit on the chopping block

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LEWISBURG -

Renovating historic homes in West Virginia might be getting more difficult.

Two state delegates introduced a bill that would eliminate a tax credit incentive.

The new Residential Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program is set to begin in July.

Ann Bell said fixing up her Lewisburg home was a dream come true for her husband.

She said, "He always would say, 'Dad I love that old house.' So I think it was 50 years after he first admired this house that he bought the house and started the restoration."

It was thanks to the historic preservation tax credit that they were able to do it.

Bell said, "You can figure that in your budget and knowing what you can save was very very helpful for us."

The tax credit helps homeowners out with 20 percent of the cost for things like windows and roofs and for a huge house like theirs with at least a dozen windows, that's a lot of money.

Their house is located right in the middle of downtown and was built back in 1805.

And historic Lewisburg is full of old buildings waiting to be restored.

Bell said, "I can think of two or three houses right now that people have purchased, I'm in the real estate business and I've sold a lot of the historic homes and I know that people are counting on that to make it possible for them to save an old house."

And when dealing with historic homes, the work needs to be done to a specific standard.

Bell said, "It's one thing to fix a house that is historic and use modern materials, well that isn't appropriate in the historic district. So to do it correctly, you really need this assistance of the tax credit to make it financially possible."

State Delegate Justin Marcum says the tax credit is outdated and unused.