click to enlarge
By Jacob Rund
The Indiana House voted Thursday to gut a bill that would have shifted the state's historic preservation tax credit into a grant program.
On a voice vote, lawmakers decided instead to send the bill to a study committee for more work before the 2015 session.
House Bill 1215 - authored by Rep. Ed Clere, R-New Albany - would originally have expanded the tax credit from $450,000 to $10 million a year, an effort to boost its effectiveness and create move incentives for preservation projects.
But in the House Ways and Means Committee this week, lawmakers stripped the funding out of the bill and replaced the tax credit with a grant program.
Ways and Means Chairman Tim Brown, R- Crawfordsville, said earlier this week the goal was to force lawmakers to think harder about how the money is spent. But opponents of the change said it could put future projects in jeopardy.
The current program - administered by the Department of Natural Resources - is backlogged because the tax credit caps at $450,000 per year. That means some projects approved for the program have been completed but can't claim the tax credit until 2023.
Jacob Rund is a reporter at TheStatehouseFile.com, a news service powered by Franklin College journalism students and faculty.