The city historic commission and Wisconsin Historical Society are organizing a Tuesday presentation on state and federal historic tax credit programs.
Historic tax credits help provide financial relief to residential and commercial properties that are undergoing renovations.
Qualifying projects can be small, such as replacing a furnace in an old home, or large, such as a full-scale rehabilitation for commercial use.
The presentation will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Tallman Carriage House on the Rock County Historical Society grounds, 450 N. Jackson St., Janesville.
The event is free and open to anyone with an interest in historic preservation.
Jen Davel, a preservation architect with the Wisconsin Historical Society, will lead the presentation. She has reviewed potential tax credit projects in Rock County for the past nine years.
There have been six commercial projects and 32 residential ones in Rock County since 2016. The process for residential and commercial projects differs, with the residential process being much simpler, Davel said.
To be eligible, homes must be located within a historic district or apply for individual review. It’s a 25%, state-only tax credit that applies to up to $40,000 of work.
These projects can include new roofs or paint jobs. The tax credit program is optional; people who live in historic homes don’t have to participate, Davel said.
Commercial projects are larger and involve site visits and reviews by Davel. It involves state and federal tax credits, she said.
Property owners can get up to a 40% tax credit, which is split evenly between state and federal funding. Depending on the scope of a commercial preservation project, property owners might qualify for only state credits or only federal credits.
Since Wisconsin increased its commercial tax credit from 5% to 20% in 2014, commercial rehabilitation projects have tripled across the state. The program helps make historic preservation financially viable, Davel said.
Timothy Maahs, the Rock County Historical Society’s executive director, said the Gray Goose and Carriage Works buildings are two prominent Janesville structures renovated under the commercial program.
Maahs said space is limited for the presentation, but JATV plans to broadcast the event. He believes the discussion will be informative and valuable for anyone considering repairs to an older building.
“It’s (the program is) a huge financial benefit, and you can do more because of it,” Maahs said. “I personally have used it on my residence to have a new boiler and roof put on last year. It was shocking how much money I was able to deduct.”