By Shane Goodman email@example.com
Talk to people who have toured
European cities and they will
go on about the beauty of the
architecture and the focus the
citizens have on preserving it.
Europeans build structures to
last well beyond their own lives.
You won’t find metal pole barns
or temporary structures that we
too often see here in America.
But there’s a cost to restoring
historic buildings, too. In Iowa,
it is referred to as “financial
incentives.” The Iowa Legislature
created a package in 2000 that
provided tax credits to developers
who restored buildings listed
on the National Register of Historic
Places. It is a complicated system
that did not exactly work out
as planned, to the dismay of some.
Reporter Sean Miller explains
in this week’s cover story how
the Department of Cultural Affairs
has dealt with the funding of
the program in its relation to
the value of the projects requested.
The end result was postdating
tax credits until funding was
available, a move that some say
destroyed the program. The Legislature
increased funding this year with
a bill that reformed the program.
Some call it necessary to preserve
history; others refer to it as
a subsidy for rich developers.
We call it another well intended,
but mismanaged, government program.
Let’s hope the “new and improved”
program has the intended results.
Thanks for reading.
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