Governor Lifts Moratorium on Historic Preservation Tax Credit

Governor Scott Walker lifted the moratorium on the Historic Preservation Tax Credit, after the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) placed the moratorium on the tax credit in late June.

The WEDC placed a temporary moratorium on the tax credit program due to the unexpectedly large influx of projects applying for the tax credit, going from a $4 million estimated budget impact to nearly $35 million.

The law, signed by Gov. Walker in December, raised the Historic Tax Credit on qualified rehabilitation expenditures of certified historic structures to 20 percent. In addition, a new 20 percent tax credit was created for rehabilitation expenditures on qualified rehabilitated buildings so long as the expenditures exceed $50,000.

When announcing the WEDC would lift the moratorium, Walker stated, “While it was necessary for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to determine the best method to continue the program, worthwhile projects can now move forward.” After review, WEDC announced a more rigorous application process required by State Historic Preservation Officer and the National Park Service, and the WEDC will be collecting additional information from projects to understand the return on investment to Wisconsin.

Walker’s actions to lift the moratorium were applauded by both parties. The program passed the State Legislature with bipartisan support in December 2013.