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The Economic and Fiscal Effects of the Mississippi Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program, An Overview for Decision-Makers cover

Mississippi’s Historic Tax Credit

On October 22, 2015, the Mississippi Heritage Trust announced its 100th 10 Most Endangered Historic Places in Mississippi on behalf of the many communities that are depending on the state historic tax credit to save their treasured historic places.  The choice was supported by data released in the Economic and Fiscal Effects of the Mississippi Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program, An Overview for Decision-Makers. Prepared by the John C. Stennis Institute of Government at the request of Philip Gunn, J.D., Speaker of the House, this report was released in September 2015.

Significance
Enacted in 2006 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi’s historic tax credit has made a world of difference in getting from “what if?” to the ribbon cutting.  In the ten years since its adoption, the 25% state historic tax credit has been used to save 252 historic places, stimulating a total of $239,576,690 in historic rehabilitation expenditures.  Mississippi’s investment of $59,900,000 in state historic tax credits has incentivized an additional $45,793,040 in federal historic tax credits and $173,400,000 in direct private investment to rehabilitate historic buildings in the state.  Every dollar of investment that Mississippi has made in historic tax credits has leveraged $4.66 of rehabilitation construction investment in the state.

The state tax credit has played a critical role in helping to save buildings that had been listed as endangered, including the King Edward Hotel in Jackson and the Old Pascagoula High School. In addition to commercial rehabilitations, Mississippi’s historic tax credit can also be used for residential restorations, with 122 homeowners taking advantage of this incentive to restore their historic homes.  This investment will help to ensure that Mississippi’s rich heritage of beautiful historic neighborhoods will be there for future generations to cherish.

Threat
With the failure of the state legislature to increase the $60 million dollar cap on the state historic tax credit during the 2015 legislative session, this popular and effective program has run out of funding.  The loss of the state historic tax credit puts historic preservation projects large and small in jeopardy.

Currently, there are twenty projects that have applied to the program that will require a minimum of $9,340,000 in tax credits.  The decision to move forward with many other great preservation projects, like Calvary Baptist Church in West Jackson, depends on funding from state historic tax credits.

Source of Data:  Mississippi State University John C. Stennis Institute of Government, The Economic and Fiscal Effects of The Mississippi Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program, August 2015.