While Congress considers tax reform legislation, a vital economic development tool that has benefited the Janesville area, along with communities throughout Wisconsin and the U.S., is on the chopping block.

Federal historic tax credits have been used in downtown Janesville over the past 30 years to see favorable renovations of the Cotton Mills, the Hayes Block, the Carriage Works, the Gray Goose and several buildings at the corner of West Milwaukee and Franklin streets. They could be used in the future to restore buildings like the Town & Country, the Monterey Hotel and others. Without a doubt, historic tax credits are another tool in our ARISE kitbag to revitalize downtown Janesville.

The federal historic tax credit will be discontinued if the GOP’s current tax reform plan advances. The credit accounts for a small scope of the nation’s overall budget, carrying an annual cost of approximately $1 billion; however, it drives more than $5 billion in private sector development annually in the U.S.

In Wisconsin alone, since 2002, the program has resulted in 188 projects that have created more than 14,000 jobs and total private sector investment of more than $700 million. Between 2014 and 2016 alone, historic tax credit projects have added more than $570 million in new property tax assessment value to Wisconsin communities.

Such an important program needs to be retained. Please contact your congressional representatives and voice support for a program that carries such a significant return on investment for communities locally and nationally.

MARK FREITAG

City of Janesville manager

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