Senate Bill 209, inked by Gov. Jack Markell July 19, extends the state’s Historic Preservation Tax Credit Act for 10 years.


The Spruce Acres building in Camden served as a fitting venue to sign a bill into law that will help preserve such historic structures statewide.
 
The new measure, Senate Bill 209, inked by Gov. Jack Markell July 19, extends the state’s Historic Preservation Tax Credit Act for 10 years.
 
Timothy A. Slavin, Director of the Division of Historical Affairs, said the tax credits have been fully utilized every year since the program was first started in 2001 — a total of $34 million.
 
Supporters of reauthorizing the program say that it’s not only helped rehabilitate and preserve 75 historic buildings in Delaware over the last 10 years, it has also leveraged more than $166 million in private-sector investments and produced an estimated 2,400 jobs.
 
Andy and Jennifer Nowak used the tax credit to help finance their efforts to restore Spruce Acres, an 1850 building located at 110 N. Main Street in Camden.  Begun in July 2006, the year-long project produced a viable building that now hosts an engineering firm, a financial services company and a law office.
 
Rep. Don Blakey, R-Dover South, who represents the district where Spruce Acres is located and was a co-sponsor of the bill, said it’s a perfect example of the what the tax credit can accomplish — preserving Delaware’s cultural legacy while ensuring that historic structures remain active and vital.  
 
Under the new law, no more than $5 million in tax credits can be awarded annually and no single project can exhaust the pool of available credits.  The measure also requires the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs to issue an annual report on the status of projects approved under program.