Published June 30, 2015
Gov. Nikki Haley has signed a bill that expands tax credits for the rehabilitation, renovation and redevelopment of abandoned buildings. The Abandoned Buildings Revitalization Act (H.3093) applies to projects started in tax year 2013.
Under the law, an abandoned building is a structure in which at least 66% of the space has been closed continuously to business for at least five years. The bill expands the tax credit to 25% from 10% of the actual rehabilitation expenses incurred at the building site. The bill includes a $500,000 individual cap on the tax credit benefit.
Abandoned buildings often result in unmarketability of property, high crime and an exodus of families and businesses, according to the bill.
“The decline of these areas impairs the value of private investments, threatens the sound growth and the tax base of taxing districts in these areas, and threatens the health, safety, morals and welfare of the public,” the bill states.
Officials estimate there’s about 500,000 square feet of abandoned building space across the state.
To qualify for the tax credit, investors must spend the following on rehabilitation projects:
- More than $250,000 for buildings located in a county or a municipality with a population of more than 25,000 people.
- More than $150,000 for buildings located in a county or a municipality with a population of at least 1,000 people, but not more than 25,000.
- More than $75,000 for buildings located in a municipality with a population of fewer than 1,000 people.
Eligible abandoned buildings, both private and public, could include abandoned residences, retail stores, hotels and motels, office space, health care facilities, schools, amusement and recreational facilities, warehouses, manufacturing facilities, fire towers, National Guard armories, military and defense buildings, college and university buildings, and state office buildings.
The bill was sponsored by Reps. James Smith, D-Columbia; Walton McLeod, D-Little Mountain; and J. Seth Whipper, D-North Charleston.