Encore tax meeting scheduled

Published 5:00 am Friday, August 17, 2007

For anyone who might have missed Mississippi Department ofArchives and History Tax Incentives Coordinator Brenda Crook’sfirst visit to discuss historic tax credits, Monday night offersanother chance to gather information and ask questions on how tosave money when remodeling historic buildings.

The meeting, which will be held at 5 p.m. at the State Room,offers information about special incentives to refurbish historicbuildings like those in the downtown area. According to theBrookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, the state ofMississippi and the federal government dictates that incentives areprovided for investments in historic districts, of which theBrookhaven central business district is mostly eligible for.

The city’s historical downtown district has over 70 contributingbusinesses, not to mention many historic homes in the downtownarea. Crook visited on July 1 to inform area home and businessowners of how to get the most for their money when restoring thestructures to their historic states.

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Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Cliff Brumfieldsaid the seminar was back by popular demand.

“We had such strong response to the previous seminars, we wantedto present it again to anyone who was unable to attend the lastone,” he said.

The July 1 meeting was held at the Chamber of Commerce and themeeting room was filled. Brumfield said the event encore is plannedat the State Room so there will be plenty of room for everyone tosit.

“The chamber was packed, so we’ll be at the State Room Mondaynight to accommodate what we hope will be a sizeable crowd,” hesaid.

City aldermen have discussed attending the seminar in order tobe more informed on the options the city has in regard to downtownbeautification.

When Crook visited, she made the point that a city’s buildingsare what gives it personality.

“Historic buildings provide communities with historiccharacter,” she said.

Brumfield said the event is aimed not only to help the businessowners save money, but through that to help with returning downtownto its historic grandeur.

“The majority of what is the downtown business area is in ahistoric district,” he said. “It makes those properties eligiblefor a tax credit. This program is aimed at encouraging restorationof those facilities.”

On Crook’s last visit she explained the different tax creditsavailable to those looking to restore their businesses.

Originally, property owners were offered a 20 percent federaltax credit for rehabilitation of historic buildings, and 10 percentfor non-historic buildings built before 1936. Lincoln County,though, is in the Gulf Opportunity Zone, which is better known asthe “GO Zone.”

Crook said under the Gulf Opportunity Act of 2005, PresidentGeorge W. Bush signed into legislation an opportunity for areasdevastated by Hurricane Katrina to receive extra help, bumping thepercentages up to 26 percent and 13 percent respectively. The GOZone can collect the extra tax credit percentage on any restorationdone between Aug. 28, 2005 and Jan. 1, 2009.

Questions about the meeting may be directed to the Chamber ofCommerce at (601) 833-1411.