Photos: Tour of Historic Tax Credit Projects in Cedar Rapids
CEDAR RAPIDS – Preservation advocates from Save CR Heritage teamed with the city of Cedar Rapids on Monday, Nov. 20, to showcase projects that have benefited from the historic tax credit program.
Although the program generates revenue for the Department of Treasury, returning dividends to taxpayers, the tax credits are at risk of being eliminated under federal tax reform proposals.
Several speakers noted those benefits at a gathering at CSPS Hall, a historic building in New Bohemia that was one of the first major projects to use the tax credits after the 2008 floods.
Bethany Jordan, president of Save CR Heritage; Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett; Steve Emerson of Aspect Architecture; John Herbert, executive director of Legion Arts; Rep. Art Staed, D-Cedar Rapids, and Emily Meyer, owner of New Leaf Redevelopment and a board member of Save CR Heritage, noted that the tax credit program has helped in disaster recovery, conserves resources, stimulates the economy, creates jobs and helps preserve the legacy of communities, both large and small, by preserving historic architecture.
Emerson, whose projects include the Smulekoff’s building in downtown Cedar Rapids, noted that some of the projects he has developed might not have come to fruition without the tax credits, which bring a higher level of quality to rehabilitation efforts.
Meyer and others encouraged Iowans to contact Sen. Chuck Grassley, Sen. Joni Ernst and their U.S. representatives to promote keeping the historic tax credit program in upcoming tax overhauls.
“This is a program our country can’t afford to lose,” Meyer said.
Participants were invited to tour several historic buildings that have used the program, including CSPS; the Commonwealth Apartments; the Smulekoff’s Building; Paramount Theatre and Lion Bridge Brewing Co.
Other partners in Monday’s event included the Cedar Rapids Historic Preservation Commission; Linn County Historic Preservation Commission; Czech Village/New Bohemia Main Street District; Iowa City Friends of Historic Preservation; city of Dubuque; Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance; Preservation Iowa; Smart Growth Development and Uptown Marion.
See more photos from the press conference and tour, here: