SC State House Representatives James Smith and Rick Quinn Introduced Abandoned Buildings Revitalization Act

February 22, 2012

Columbia, SC February 22, 2012- Today, South Carolina State House Representatives James Smith (D-Richland) and Rick Quinn (R-Lexington) introduced the SC Abandoned Buildings Revitalization Act in response to the hundreds of abandoned buildings that are blighting many towns in urban and rural communities in South Carolina.

This bill will incentivize developers to invest in those buildings that have sat vacant for years and create investment in those areas where it is needed the most.  The bill calls for a twenty-five percent (25%) state income tax credit to be applied for investment in the rehabilitation of a building that has been abandoned for minimum of five (5) years; the tax credit will require a minimum of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) investment.

Last year, the Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation commissioned a fiscal impact study from the Strom Thurmond Institute to determine the economic impact on state revenue.  The study found that over a period of approximately five (5) years, the bill, if passed, would create an additional nineteen dollars ($19) to twenty dollars ($20) of state output for every one dollar ($1) of tax credit applied.  Additionally it found that every five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) of tax credits utilized will create one hundred (100) to one hundred and fifty (150) additional jobs.

Representative Smith said:  "This bill is needed in South Carolina.  It is a non-partisan issue.  Columbia and communities throughout our state have empty buildings that have been vacant for years.  We need to do what we can to get businesses in these buildings.  This bill will help our economy, our communities and our citizens." Smith added:  "at a time when many small towns are trying to deal with large unoccupied buildings, this bill will create the ability for these desolate buildings to provide downtown housing and attract commerce once again".

Other supporters of the bill include:  South Carolina Fire Fighters Association, South Carolina Municipal Association, Affordable Housing Coalition of South Carolina, The Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, Sustainable Midlands, South Carolina Police Chiefs Association, SC Coastal Conservation League and mayors from around the state including Mayor Steve Benjamin of Columbia, Mayor Doug Echols of Rock Hill, Mayor Stephen Wukela of Florence and Mayor Joe Riley of Charleston.

Click here to view photos from this press conference>>


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