Thursday, March 03, 2005

Main Street Fairmont, in partnership with Fairmont State Community & Technical College and the West Virginia Small Business Development Center, is offering a rehabilitation tax credit workshop on Tuesday, March 15.

Like many of the nation's small towns, Fairmont is making efforts toward revitalization. Many hope that the improved access of the new I-79 connector will cause merchants and other investors to seriously consider rehabilitating historic structures in the city's center. Federal and/or state resources are available to assist with these costs, and the rehabilitation tax credit workshop is intended to make people aware of the process and requirements involved.

The Rehabilitation Investment Tax Credit Program provides a federal income tax credit and a West Virginia state income tax credit for the rehabilitation of historic, income-producing properties. Under the provisions of the Tax Reform Act of 1986, a 20 percent federal tax credit is available for the substantial rehabilitation of commercial, agricultural, industrial or rental residential buildings that are certified as historic. The credit is applied directly against taxes owed by the owner. There is a similar 10 percent state income tax credit available to owners. The total credit on a qualified project is 30 percent of approved rehabilitation costs. The credit may be carried forward for up to five years from the year it is earned. A 20 percent West Virginia state tax credit is also available for owner occupied certified historic residential properties.

"The goal is for all participants to clearly understand the steps required for approval of a project so that the appropriate tax credits can be applied," said Vera Sansalone, Director of Main Street Fairmont.

The program is free of charge and will be held on Tuesday, March 15, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the FSC&TC Center for Workforce Education facility, 320 Adams St., Suite G01, in downtown Fairmont. This new training facility is on the ground floor of the Veterans' Square building.

The presenter for the workshop is Jennifer Murdock, Tax Credit Coordinator for the West Virginia Division of Culture & History.

"Rehabilitation tax credits are an important incentive program that should be explored by any individual who wishes to upgrade or rehabilitate a historic property," Murdock said. "The workshop will feature a thorough explanation of the application procedure, examples of approved projects, as well as the opportunity to discuss specific questions about the program."

"We want to aid the downtown revitalization effort and provide accurate information directly from the source, by having the approving agency advise potential investors up front," said Paul Schreffler, FSC&TC Director of Economic Development & Workforce Education.

"The federal monies are administered by the National Park Service, the guidelines are quite specific, and it's important that the approvals are secured prior to the work being done. This will hopefully build upon the significant amount of rehabilitation work that has already been completed on historic buildings in downtown Fairmont."

Information on this workshop is available online at http://www2.fairmontstate.edu/fsctc/cwe/workshops.shtml, or by calling Vera Sansalone at (304) 366-0468.