Proposed cuts could halt Eastern Iowa Development - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Proposed cuts could halt Eastern Iowa Development

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

A new shine to the old, it is a common element in many Eastern Iowa downtowns. Businesses are putting new life into some of the area's oldest buildings.

But many are worried development could be halted very soon.

Many of the projects in the Cedar Valley, Dubuque, and Cedar Raids hinge on the financial support of historical tax credits. This week, the United States House proposed a new tax reform that would eliminate the Federal Historic Tax Credits. 

Credit projects like the new SingleSpeed Brewery in the old Waterloo Hostess Bakery as well as, the Tech Works and Courtyard Marriott in the old John Deere factory buildings, used to help offset the cost of renovating an out-of-date structure.

"Over 28 projects have been done in Waterloo over the past 14 years that were all dependent on the historical tax credits in one form or another," said David Deeds of JSA Development.

JSA Development has tackled many historic buildings in downtown Waterloo and is now looking to save the beauty found in four Walnut neighborhood homes that are more than a 100 years old. 

"We need to, as a community, preserve our common story and the way we do that is through our buildings. Buildings are the things that outlast us as individuals," said Deeds.

But historical renovations aren't financially feasible without the tax credits.

"Many of the projects we are looking forward to in this neighborhood could come to a screeching halt without this," said Deeds.

The KWWL building also qualified for Federal Historic Tax Credits to help offset the cost of the multi-million dollar renovation.

During the September ribbon-cutting of the KWWL building, U.S. Representative Rob Blum credited the credits.

"Historic Tax Credits are so important to Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, and Cedar Falls. Without that 20% tax credit, these buildings and the rents we could get would not be viable," said Representative Blum.

Blum's officer told KWWL he is disappointed to see the U.S. House propose cutting Federal Historical Tax Credits and is looking to work with the Senate's bill to keep them.

Senator Chuck Grassley pointed to the Senate's coming plan when asked about the cuts.

KWWL also spoke with the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance and Chamber President & CEO Steve Dust. Dust told KWWL the credits are necessary to continue to encourage developers to take on the financial burdens of old and outdated structures.

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