The last state surrounding New Jersey to do so is now poised to adopt a state historic preservation incentive program, leaving the Garden State still more isolated from millions of dollars in potential investment, community revitalization and jobs creation. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives, by a vote of 193 – 2, has passed HB42, the Historic Preservation Incentive Act. The legislation will provide direct grants of up to $15,000 for rehabilitation of historic residential buildings, state tax credits of up to $500,000 for rehabilitation of historic commercial properties and priority funding to properties located in “Main Street” and “Elm Street” areas, enterprise zones and historic districts. The bill now awaits Senate action, with strong indications that Gov. Ed Rendell will sign it into law.
Pennsylvania already sees scores of millions of dollars in historic rehabilitation and reinvestment, as measured by use of the federal historic rehab tax credit. Now, with a companion state credit for commercial revitalization, still more investment is likely to flow into the Keystone State. And owners of historic single family residences will be offered grants to reimburse for the costs of renovation and rehabilitation. No such assistance for homeowners is available in New Jersey.