Historic Downtown Mount Airy resides at the doorstep of the Blue Ridge Mountains where our urban living is enhanced by arts, entertainment, local wine, and our Traditional Music roots. Fostering a diverse variety of small businesses flavored with authentic dining experiences, Mount Airy is a true Southern Town with all the
charm of Mayberry.
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For Immediate Release: February 18, 2015
Secretary of Cultural Resources Susan Kluttz Will Visit Mount Airy in Support of Restoring the Historic Preservation Tax Credit
A statewide tour by Secretary of Cultural Resources, Susan Kluttz, will continue in Mount Airy on Wednesday, March 11, 2:00 p.m. at McArthur’s on Main in Downtown Mount Airy. Kluttz is touring the state in support of restoring the historic preservation tax credit with recent stops in Eden, Hendersonville and Burlington garnering media attention. The City of Mount Airy, Mount Airy Downtown, Inc. and several other groups are supporting Secretary Kluttz on her tour, and continuing to lobby for passage of the tax credit.
"The Historic Tax Credits brought jobs and economic development to rural towns and big cities across North Carolina,” said Secretary Kluttz. "The rebirth of one abandoned downtown building has a ripple effect throughout a community and often sparks a renaissance of development in nearby structures. In addition, these historic buildings and mills are an emotional tie to our heritage and exemplify what makes North Carolina unique. These credits are critical for North Carolina's economic recovery. "
Historic tax credits were used by business and homeowners who owned historic properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places to preserve their buildings within defined guidelines. Used in 90 out of N.C.'s 100 counties, in both rural and urban areas, these historic tax credits boosted local economies and created jobs, while preserving communities’ historic cores and our state’s priceless historic character.
Since 1998, more than 2,400 historic tax credit projects have been completed statewide bringing more than $1.6 billion of private investment into North Carolina communities. North Carolina’s historic tax credit program ended on December 31, 2014.
Secretary Kluttz was formally invited to visit Mount Airy by Mayor Deborah Cochran. Cochran expressed her enthusiasm for the historic tax credit program stating, “Mount Airy is anchored by a distinctive historic downtown. Historic Preservation Tax Credits encourage private sector investment in downtown, provide incentives for rehabilitation and re-use of historic buildings which is vital for job creation and survival of our Main Street.” Mayor Cochran will introduce Secretary Kluttz, who will speak on the importance of the historic tax credit program for our state, hear from local leaders who support the historic tax credit program, and will tour several buildings that have benefited from the program, including the meeting location – McArthur’s on Main.
During Kluttz’ visit, Mount Airy Downtown, Inc. will give a brief presentation on local projects which have benefited from the tax credit program including several downtown businesses, Renfro Lofts, and several historic homes. Many of these historic buildings would not have been restored if not for the economic incentive the historic tax credit provided. M.A.D. will also show potential projects that will not likely be developed without the assistance of the historic tax credit program. Lizzie Morrison, Main Street Coordinator for M.A.D. stated, “Mount Airy Downtown, Inc. urges support for reinstating the historic tax credit program for continuation of North Carolina’s legacy of leveraging historic preservation programs to spur economic development. These projects create jobs while preserving the state’s historic character on Main Street. The historic tax credit program has been a crucial part of our vibrant community in downtown Mount Airy.”
Secretary Kluttz will also hear from Gene Rees, a local historic developer responsible for many of the rehabilitated buildings throughout our community. Rees continues to stress the importance of the historic tax credit program. “North Carolina Secretary of Cultural Resources, Susan Klutz, has taken the lead for the Governor to reinstate N.C. income tax credits for restoration of historic buildings," said Rees. "Without this tax credit program, small towns like Mount Airy will begin to lose their historic downtowns and historic neighborhoods, and the damage will be irreversible. It is critical for our State legislators to support Secretary Klutz’s efforts.”
Mayor Pro Tem Steve Yokeley, who is Chair of the Mount Airy Redevelopment Commission, plans to speak on the importance of the historic tax credit program, specifically to the redevelopment of the former Spencer’s property. “It is important for our state legislators to see how important these tax credits are to the entire state of North Carolina,” said Yokeley. “The historic tax credits generate huge increases in the property tax base, many new jobs, increases in sales tax revenues, and a healthier and more diverse state economy.”
Without replacement historic rehabilitation legislation, North Carolina will be one of the only states in the South without a demand-driven model to attract investment in our unique historic buildings. That will translate to less economic growth across Surry County and the state, and, most importantly, less jobs for Mount Airy and for North Carolina.
Mount Airy Downtown, Inc. encourages everyone to immediately contact their representatives in the General Assembly and voice their support for the Historic Rehabilitation Investment Program. People can find out who represents them at http://www.ncleg.net.
More information on the Historic Rehabilitation Investment Program is available online at http://www.ncdcr.gov/HRIP.
Main Street Coordinator
Mount Airy Downtown, Inc.
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