Virginia Is for Preservationists

The National Park Service has ranked Virginia second among the 50 states in the use of federal tax incentives to rehabilitate historic buildings. The Service’s annual report lists Virginia with 140 approved approved proposals and 74 completed projects, second only to Missouri in both categories. The City of Richmond is second only to St. Louis, Missouri, of all cities in the nation for the number of rehabilitation tax projects using federal tax credits during the past five years.

The total private investment in Virginia leveraged through rehabilitation projects completed and certified by the Park Service during fiscal year 2005 was $128,603,161, making Virginia seventh in the nation for money spent. “The Commonwealth’s ranking highlights the power of historic preservation as an economic and community revitalization tool,” commented Gov. Timothy M. Kaine in a press release. “Historic rehabilitation through public-private partnerships, combined with state and federal tax credits, has the added benefit of supporting smart growth and helping to stem sprawl in our urban and suburban areas throughout Virginia.”

That’s the Tim Kaine I knew — back before he went over to the dark side, favoring tax hikes to support sprawl-inducing transportation projects. I remember chatting with him during the early days of his campaign — back when he was still spending time in Richmond — and discussing his ideas about economic and community development. Kaine, a former Richmond mayor, cited the historic tax credits and Richmond’s tax abatement program for restored properties as an engine in the city’s resurgence.

It’s good to see that the Governor is still thinking in these terms, even if he hasn’t taken any tangible action yet. Maybe we’ll see an urban renewal initiative next year. It would be cool if we could bump Missouri off its perch.

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One response to “Virginia Is for Preservationists”

  1. Ray Hyde Avatar
    Ray Hyde

    I just love to see old stuff saved, even though it is frequently uneconomic. I wonder what future preservationists will think is worthy of saving from what we build. Considering the bunch of schlock we put up, it is hard to imagine someone looking back and suggesting that say, the old Dr. Seuss home in Springfield, should be restored.

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