September 1, 2014

Historic tax credit program on hold

WRN photo

WRN photo

Expansion of a state tax credit has proven a bit too popular. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation estimated that the historic redevelopment tax credit would hit $4 million in the first year. But projects totalling more than $35 million have come in for certification. “I think that’s a great sign,” Governor Scott Walker said Wednesday in Racine. “There’s a lot of interest in historic development. We just need to put it in the next budget.”

“I have heard from some developers who were just about to submit applications, and they’re frustrated, but when you have a program that has a price tag you have to live within it,” Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said. “We can’t just open up the checkbook and give everybody an opportunity without regard to what the overall budget looks like.”

Walker signed a bill which expanded the program without capping how many credits could be awarded in any given year. The program will now be paused. “Having a $4 million price tag and having it be almost ten times that amount is something we want to be responsible about,” Vos said.