The Wisconsin Historic Tax Credit (HTC) program is a supplement of the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit. Currently, the federal government provides a tax credit for 20% of qualified expenditures for certified historic structures, and the state provides an additional credit. The intent of the program is to encourage private sector investment in the rehabilitation of historic buildings. The HTC program has been incredibly successful both nationally and here in Wisconsin and has helped to revitalize over a hundred properties across the state.
This legislation raises the amount of credits that can be claimed per project under the HTC program from $500,000 to $3.5 million, starting July 1st, 2018. Raising the limit will increase the feasibility of more projects across the state while still ensuring cost controls on the program. The cap also ensures that communities and developers across the state will have certainty when applying for the HTC credit.
The HTC program is a low-risk, high-return program. The credit cannot be claimed until a project is complete, and if a project fails, the state does not pay out the credit. The program has already helped to create thousands of jobs across the State of Wisconsin and has benefitted communities both large and small. Recent studies have indicated that Wisconsin receives an $8-to-$1 return on investment over a 10-year period from the program. Between 2014 and 2016, credits issued to development projects are expected to generate more than $600 million in economic output, and more than $90 million in new state tax revenue. This program also helps to increase property values while reducing blight through the revitalization of often vacant buildings.