WEDC Places Moratorium on Historic Preservation Tax Credit

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has placed a temporary moratorium on the Wisconsin Historic Preservation Tax Credit program, due to the unexpectedly large influx of projects applying for the tax credit.

In December, Hamilton Consulting reported that Governor Walker had signed 2013 Wisconsin Act 62 into law, which 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.

Since the law’s enactment, nearly 10 times the expected number of applications have been put forward for the historic preservation tax credit. The original legislation did not include a statutory limit to the number of tax credits to be certified annually, and with such high demand, the WEDC needs to reassess the fiscal impact the program will take.

The original fiscal estimate made by the Department of Revenue estimated $4,000,000 tax credit allocations for the first year. In a letter, the WEDC explains it has seen more than $35,000,000 in tax credit eligibility come through for certification. Therefore, the WEDC has placed a temporary moratorium on the tax credit until a more thorough fiscal estimate can be made.

Nearly 30 projects have been approved for the tax credit, adding up to over $20 million in tax credits, and creating $180 million in community investment.