by Kalie Ammons
For those who lack an accounting degree, filing taxes usually falls into the “burden” category, getting put off until the last moment and left with a small hope that some sort of credit or refund will come out of them. Luckily, Todd Zeiger, director of Indiana Landmarks, will be in Roann May 12 to explain how owners of historic properties willing to renovate can qualify for state and federal tax credits.
Zeiger will be speaking in the basement of the Roann Library at 7 p.m. Indiana Landmarks provides information about these tax benefits, which have been active since 1976.
“Tax credits work like this: 20 percent of what a property owner spends to rehabilitate a historic, income-producing property comes off the bottom line of the taxes paid to the state and federal government,” said Indiana Landmarks in an article on their website. “If an owner has spent $100,000 to restore an old hotel, for example, he pays $20,000 less in federal tax and $20,000 less in state tax.”
Qualifying for the credit will be easier for Roann residents since it was declared a historic town. The building itself, however, must be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The property cannot be a private residence and must produce income in some way.
The article explains a few rules of thumb. “Don’t change anything you don’t have to change; if you have to change something, make sure it doesn’t alter the significance of the property; and don’t do anything that can’t be reversed.”
If you think you might qualify for these breaks and don’t mind sticking to the rules, Indiana Landmarks encourages you to apply soon, because there is a limit on how many breaks can be given, and currently a year-long backlog of eager property-owners has grown.
To see if you qualify, contact the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology (DHPA) for questions and approval.
If the building that is renovated increases in value afterwards, the owner doesn’t have to suffer through the full income tax.
“When a building’s assessed value rises, Indiana property taxes usually increase,” it says. “But when the structure is certified as historic, and the increase in assessed value is due to qualified renovation work, the building’s owner can deduct 50 percent of the increase form his or her property tax bill.”
For more information about how to file these taxes or what you qualify for, visit the Roann’s Community Heritage meeting on May 12 at the Roann library in the basement at 7 p.m. Refreshments and door prizes will be available.