Analysis of North Carolina s Historic and Mills Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program

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1 Analysis of North Carolina s Historic and Mills Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program Labor & Economic Analysis Division, NC Department of Commerce NC State Historic Preservation Office, NC Department of Cultural Resources February 2014

2 Executive Summary Approach Collaboration through research and discussion among Commerce and DCR (including SHPO) Alternative Sunset the Historic Tax Credit (HTC) program as scheduled in 2015 Implement a modified credit program starting in 2015 Research Quantitative Analysis and Modeling Qualitative Research Interviews Evidence Examples of the NC Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit 2

3 LEAD addressed the Quantitative Economic Impacts of the HTC Program while DCR focused on Qualitative Economic Impacts and Social Benefits. Approach Quantitative Economic Impacts LEAD Economic Impact Fiscal Impact Qualitative Economic Impacts Property Values Ongoing Business Activities Tourism DCR Social Benefits Mixed public-private goods (transportation, infrastructure) True public goods (cultural heritage, decreased blight) 3

4 This is an Alternative to the current program but offers lower credits and a cap to improve overall ROI while maintaining similar activity. Alternative Alternative for 2015 Post-Sunset Program Offering Rates Caps/Steps Transferability Combine Commercial and Mill 15% base credit rate +5% for mills +5% for economically distressed counties $0 to $10M base rate $10M to $20M base rate reduced by 5% Hard cap at $20M Fully transferable, certificated credits Installments All credits claimable once building is placed into service with a 10 year carry forward. Local Property Tax Local option for 100% property-tax freeze for 5 years, phasing to full assessed value over 3 years. All historic properties awarded credit are eligible. Taxes Claimable Against Combined credits claimable against income taxes, gross premium taxes, and corporate franchise taxes. 4

5 Economic Modeling Conducted by LEAD 5

6 The modeled results of the alternative post-sunset HTC program would maintain the level of historic rehabilitation activity while reducing and leveling budget costs. Alternative Similar Level of Preservation Activity Reduces Budget Cost and Spikes Note: These graphs were generated using NC SHPO s historical project level database of certified expenditures. Project expenditures were assumed to remain constant up to the hard cap of $20 M. The attribution point estimate of 61% was used to estimate the decline in QREs for projects above the $20 M cap. 6

7 The following are projected program and ROI improvements based on an HTC alternative. Alternative Potential Changes Merge Commercial Rehab & Mills Credit into one credit Reduce credit % (from max of 40%/20% to 15% base with 5% potential add for distressed area & 5% potential add for mills projects ) Cap maximum qualified expenses per project Allow credits to be immediately claimed or sold (transferable) Create local option to freeze property taxes Modeled Impact Improvements Maintains similar level of preservation activity Improves return on investment (ROI) from $0.11 to $0.15 per $1.00 of credit for construction phase Reduces annual gross cost from $20.7 million to $13.2 million Decreases budget spikes (and reduces cost by 36%) 7

8 Historic Rehabilitation impacts result from two phases of activity. Research Historic Preservation Impacts = Construction Phase + Post-Construction Phase Economic and fiscal impacts from construction spending (e.g. spending that qualifies for Credit) Economic and fiscal impacts from ongoing business activity, tourism, community revitalization, preserving history This impact can be modeled and quantified This impact cannot be reliably modeled and quantified Commerce LEAD DCR/SHPO 8

9 A review of other States approach to Historic Preservation highlighted varying levels of financial modeling and analysis. Research NC s Research vs. Other States Most States Studies Show Large Positive Fiscal Returns from Credits Including Virginia, Georgia, and Ohio Mostly conducted or sponsored by historic preservation offices Most assume all activity results from the credit and would not have happened otherwise Attribute generous economic benefits to Post-Construction activity LEAD/OSBM Study Only Assesses What Can Be Measured/Modeled Economic & fiscal impacts only estimated for Construction Phase Construction impacts include but for estimate Distinguishes new activity from displaced activity Post-Construction economic impacts cannot reliably be estimated 9

10 LEAD identified key findings related to the construction phase of HTC projects. Research NC s historic tax credits more than double preservation spending Construction impacts return $ $0.12 of new state tax revenue per $1.00 of credit Economic & social Post-Construction benefits likely occur Cannot reliably estimate Post-Construction economic impacts (ongoing business activity, tourism, community revitalization, preserving history ) Credit could be improved to produce greater state ROI, reduce state budget variability, and maintain meaningful incentive value 10

11 The current HTC program creates jobs for North Carolina even though it represents a cost to the state budget. Research Commercial Rehabilitation Credit (Article 3D) Best estimate: $12.5 million in GDP/year 300 new jobs/year High estimate: $34.5 million in GDP/year (assumes no displaced activity) 700 new jobs/year (assumes no displaced activity) Mill Credits (Article 3H) Best estimate: $30.4 million in GDP/year 600 new jobs/year High estimate: $40.9 million in GDP/year (assumes no displaced activity) 800 new jobs/year (assumes no displaced activity) *All figures on this slide are modeled. Per year figures are averages from

12 The Fiscal Return on Investment (ROI) through the Construction Phase Research Commercial Rehabilitation Credit (Article 3D) Best estimate: $0.09 in new tax revenue for every dollar of credit Net cost to state: $6.5 million/year High estimate: $0.26/dollar of credit (assumes no displaced activity) Net cost to state: $5.3 million/year (assumes no displaced activity) Mill Credits (Article 3H) Best estimate: $0.12 in new tax revenue for every dollar of credit Net cost to state: $12.0 million/year High estimate: $0.16 in new tax revenue for every dollar of credit (assumes no displaced activity) Net cost to state: $11.4 million/year (assumes no displaced activity) *All figures on this slide are modeled. Per year figures are averages from

13 Qualitative Analysis & Social Impacts Department of Cultural Resources Historic Preservation Office 13

14 Historic Preservation provides strong economic impact for the overall improvement of NC. Qualitative Research Economic Impact Increases local property value Creates more positive experience for Tourism Provides job growth Promotes stronger brand identity Maximizes revitalization / use of existing infrastructure Invigorates communities Attracts new business investment Contributes to local tax generation Offers creative class attractive and unique locations to live and work Encourages stewardship in existing infrastructure Supports NC Economic Development Board s NC Job Plan by offering key industry areas a place to relocate: Manufacturing BioPharma, IT, R&D Business Services Hospitality, Tourism and Entertainment 14

15 Historic preservation s social benefits enhance NC aesthetics, community safety and stability, and overall cultural and historical heritage. Qualitative Research Social Benefits Enhances Cultural Heritage Builds safe communities and reverses crime and blight Provides green element, including landfill savings Offers new locations for education Improves community aesthetics across the state Honors the historical heritage of North Carolina s industries textiles, tobacco and furniture that carried NC into prosperity post Civil War Provides tangible, accessible connections to North Carolina s past Inspires neighborhood and downtown stabilization 15

16 The program alternative is in line with NC Economic Development Board s December 2013 NC Jobs Plan, and provides positive ROI fiscally and otherwise to the State of North Carolina. Page 19: Community Development Goal: Develop programs that provide local communities with the opportunity to thrive. 1. Develop tools that encourage local communities to invest in critical infrastructure for economic growth. D. Since the state historic rehabilitation tax credits are scheduled to sunset on December 31, 2014, a new demand-driven model for historic rehabilitation tax credits needs to be developed that focuses on positive returns on investment for the State of North Carolina. 16

17 Credits present a market driven mechanism without additional costs while Grants require government expansion. The team considered Grants and Credits in the overall analysis Qualitative Research Grants Opportunities Provides budget predictability Offers a relative Return on Investment Challenges Expensive to administer and monitor Presents a potentially politically-driven option Creates unpredictability for investors as state budget could eliminate Counter to administration philosophy / policy Requires Government involvement choosing winners and losers Encourages growth in government s role Offers a market driven program Directs risk to investor and not state Offers unpredictability/cost to State Treasury Recognizes ongoing Tax Reform efforts Credits Creates transparency and demands accountability Open to all eligible National Registry infrastructures Ease of use in project proforma financial modeling Offers a regionally competitive program 17

18 Currently, all southeastern states with a state income tax offer a state historic rehabilitation tax incentive. Virginia is perennially a top 3 state nationally in historic rehabilitation project investment. NC was # 4 nationally over the 10-year period for completed HTC projects. 18

19 HTC projects represent $1.7 billion of private investment in NC since 1976, in almost all 100 counties enhancing rural and urban communities. Evidence 19

20 Economic value for HTC is shown by these four examples of mill rehabilitation efforts that produced significant increases in property value Local Property Value - Before Local Property Value - Post rehab $2 M Charlotte Alpha- Orient Cotton Mill $13.9 M $3.7M Winston-Salem RJ Reynolds Factory 91 now BioTech Place $59.4M $75K Wilkesboro Wilkes Hosiery Mill now 31 residential units $8M $795K Durham Golden Belt textile mill now mixed use: office, retail, apts, artist studios $15.9M 20

21 Historic rehabilitation improves community aesthetics, attracting businesses, customers, and visitors. Evidence Before After 108 S. Main Street, Warrenton Now vibrant mixed use Coffee shop, independent pharmacy, apartments 21

22 Historic rehabilitation provides market-rate and affordable housing options to NC communities. Evidence Before After Marietta Street Apartments Gastonia Before After Durham Hosiery Mill Mebane 22

23 Historic rehabilitation provides new educational venues such as Charter schools. Evidence American Renaissance Charter School, Statesville Former 1917 Carolina Motors Bldg. Maureen Joy Charter School, Durham Former 1910 Y.E. Smith School 23

24 Historic rehabilitation reuses landmark industrial buildings and existing infrastructure for new housing and businesses. Before Evidence Before After After Asheboro Hosiery / Cranford Furniture Mill and Office Asheboro 70 Affordable Rental Units and The Table restaurant 24

25 Historic rehabilitation provides a catalyst for historic urban core redevelopment, including R&D, commercial, and residential. Evidence 25 Downtown Winston-Salem 25

26 In summary, the alternative is a modified version of the tax credit to encourage activity but manage the financial aspect. Alternative Alternative for 2015 Post-Sunset Program Offering Rates Caps/Steps Transferability Combine Commercial and Mill 15% base credit rate +5% for mills +5% for economically distressed counties $0 to $10M base rate $10M to $20M base rate reduced by 5% Hard cap at $20M Fully transferable, certificated credits Installments All credits claimable once building is placed into service with a 10 year carry forward. Local Property Tax Local option for 100% property-tax freeze for 5 years, phasing to full assessed value over 3 years. All historic properties awarded credit are eligible. Taxes Claimable Against Combined credits claimable against income taxes, gross premium taxes, and corporate franchise taxes. 26

27 And the proposal offers significant social and economic benefits at a relatively low cost to the State Budget. $20 Billion NC State Budget HTC = AVE cost $20M Or.1% What does $1.00 tax credit get NC? Approximately $.11 $.15 return on construction phase of HTC projects Additional returns but difficult to measure Addresses 90/100 counties Reaches tier 1 locations (85% of HTC) in places that struggle to attract investment strategies Attracts creative population and investors Helps NC preserve identity vs. anywhere USA PLUS offers other significant Social and Economic Benefits post-construction Proposal aesthetics 27

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