Historic Preservation Tax Credits in West Plains, Missouri
Howell County's first National Register sites – newly rehabbed thanks to the state's Historic Preservation Tax Credit
Ask someone about West Plains, Missouri, and you'll hear about the beauty of the Ozarks and small town charm.
Ask Toney Aid, and he'll tell you that Ozark heritage is about buildings as well as scenery – and that rehabbing those buildings makes good economic sense.
Mr. Aid should know! He recently rehabbed three buildings in the heart of town with the assistance of state and federal Historic Preservation Tax Credits.
Mr. Aid's buildings were the first in Howell County to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, a prerequisite for tax credits.
The rehab wasn't just about enhancing the appearance of historic buildings. It added 9,000 square feet to West Plains' useable commercial space. Only two people had been employed in the buildings before the rehab; today twenty-five people work in the newly rehabbed buildings -- and lunch and shop in nearby stores!
What businesses locate in historic buildings? Mr. Aid's tenants include an architect, a lawyer, an environmental services company certified by the federal government and a purveyor of specialty foods.
The project is giving the local economy an immediate boost. Mr. Aid estimates that the shops utilizing the additional square footage will generate five times as much sales tax revenue as those occupying the space before and that the county will see a fourfold increase in property tax revenue for the same lots.