Downtown development could slow if AL historical tax isn’t renewed

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Rick Journey

The new year could bring a setback for development in downtown Birmingham and other cities around the state.

For two years, cities have benefitted from the historic renovation tax credit. But it runs out later this year.

The Florentine was the first to benefit from the historic renovation tax credit. It's a great example of how the idea has helped in the city's renewal.

Supporters of the tax credit say if it's not renewed by lawmakers, development doesn't stop but will certainly slow down.

“The growth in the suburbs in many ways has helped fund Birmingham schools and the benefits we've derived from the historic tax credit and rise in property taxes has also benefitted the suburbs, it benefits Hoover, Vestavia, Trussville, Gardendale. We all benefit,” Rep. Jack Williams (R-Vestavia) said.

William supports extending the tax credit and warns if it ends, downtown development won't come to a halt, but will certainly slow down.

Lawmakers return for the regular session in February, but will hold budget hearings in a couple of weeks.

The picture painted in those discussions could give supporters of the tax credit an idea how big the challenge will be to extend this law.

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