Cedar Rapids fights for historic tax credits - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids fights for historic tax credits

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History and restoration were in the spotlight in Cedar Rapids today as federal historic tax credits could be on the chopping block. 

Tax reform could potentially eliminate the federal historic tax credit. 

"It's kind of hard to imagine what Cedar Rapids would look like if the state and the federal tax credit were not in place," says Bethany Jordan, President of Save Cedar Rapids Heritage. 

That's because the historic tax credit has helped restore more than two dozen buildings in the city over the last 17 years. 

That includes the well known Paramount Theatre which was hit hard by flood waters in 2008. 

The theatre was built in 1928 and was completely restored after the flood. 

Down the street the Smulekoffs building has also recovered from the flood. 

The furniture store has been turned into a multipurpose space thanks to developer Steve Emerson. 

"There's costs associated with these projects that developers simply just wouldn't do if they didn't have the tax credits so it's a reimbursement of additional cost that come with these historic buildings," he says. 

They've kept the wood beam detail in what are now apartments on the 5th floor as well as exposed brick throughout the building including the event space on the first floor. 

Emerson says historic tax credits help provide quality in restoration projects. 

"You get again that quality of construction you don't see currently as it used to be," he told us. 

"I would encourage the public to visit these buildings and also contact their congressman and their senators to talk to them about why the tax credit is important for them," says Jordan. 

It's not just the tax bill the House approved that would impact the credits, the one the Senate is working on would cut them in half. 


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