Tax Incentive Receives Initial Approval
A 2011 ordinance in Fort Mill allows investors to freeze the tax rate on historic rehabilitation projects. To meet the criteria for the tax incentive the building must be within Fort Mill’s National Register Historic District or the National Register of Historic Places. This tax incentive was to help draw property investors for revitalization projects.
A new proposal submitted to Town Council to expand the original ordinance. None of the rehab projects that have occurred on Main Street recently have claimed a tax credit. The criteria to qualify for the tax incentive might be too strict.
At the end of April 2016, the Fort Mill Town Council gave initial approval for the new proposal drafted by the Fort Mill Economic Council and town staffers. The proposed changes include doubling the length of the tax break and expanding the number of eligible properties.
The proposed historic areas to include are Main Street, Walter Elijah Park, one side of Tom Hall Street, North White Street, Clebourne Street, and other historic areas nearby. Fort Mill’s National Register Historic District does not include all of Main Street. The proposed ordinance will more than double the number of buildings on Main Street eligible for the tax incentive.
The current ordinance requires a minimum 50% investment in the property. The proposed ordinance changes it to 20% of fair market value. Also, the term of the tax break would be extended from 10 years to 20 years and the new proposal would make the credit transferable to a new owner.
The proposed updates to the ordinance are still before the Town Council for final approval.
MORE ABOUT TAX CREDITS
Tax credits are given to businesses to stimulate commerce. The tax break for the property is often recovered by a town through other forms of taxes. Unoccupied and rundown buildings discourage people for utilizing them and patronizing businesses.
Tax credits encourage private investments into properties, which draw businesses that create jobs and stimulate an economy that has seen better economic days.
A tax credit is not cash or a grant. It is a way to redirect taxes back into a development for construction and improvements. Therefore, the amount owed in taxes to the town are deducted on the tax forms before a tax payment.
Fort Mill’s Main Street was once the center of a thriving town, but in recent decades has been the street that people prefer to bypass on their way through town. The proposed expansion on a current ordinance is meant to help Fort Mill’s Main Street continue to prosper as it has over the past year.
The proposal also encompasses other areas of Fort Mill that are vital to this history of the town.