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  • Cathy O'Connor

tax credits good for economic development

by Cathy O'Connor via The Journal Record: April 13, 2016

Historic tax credits have been a critical element in the financing structure of many important redevelopment projects in Oklahoma. The tax credit is typically a necessary piece of the financial equation, meaning the project would not be financially feasible and would not happen without the availability of the tax credits.

These projects breathe new life into structures with great historic significance to our communities. The buildings are often vacant and dilapidated before the redevelopment, contributing to crime and blight in the neighborhoods in which they are located. While the projects are in progress, work is created for architects and laborers. After the projects are complete, not only have these important pieces of architecture been saved, but jobs have been created, new rents are coming in, and property values and corresponding tax revenues have increased.

Often, entire neighborhoods or districts are revitalized once these projects are completed. Areas in Oklahoma City such as Bricktown, Midtown, Film Row, west downtown, Uptown 23rd and others have experienced district-wide revitalization, which has been spurred or amplified by projects using historic tax credits. The Skirvin Hotel redevelopment may have never occurred without the benefit of historic tax credits.

An important thing to note is that historic tax credits aren’t earned until the projects are complete, so there’s no risk involved. If the tax credit is given, that means the project was completed and the positive impacts have been and will continue to be realized.

Read the full article here in the April 13th edition of The Journal Record.

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