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SC Abandoned Buildings Revitalization Act

The General Assembly passed legislation at the end of the 2013 session that gives cities a new economic development tool that incentivizes private investment in downtowns for the “rehabilitation, renovation and redevelopment” of empty storefronts. Abandoned buildings are routinely safety hazards that cost cities and towns precious resources by using additional fire and police services, while decreasing area property values.

Definition of an abandoned building

  • at least 66 percent vacant for the past five years
  • nonoperational for income-producing purposes
  • may not be a single-family residence
  • a building listed on the National Register for Historic Places when used solely for storage or warehousing
  • investor using the tax credit may not be the owner at the time of the abandonment

Investment threshold to use tax credit

  • more than $250,000 investment within jurisdictions (cities or counties) with a population over 25,000
  • more than $150,000 investment within jurisdictions (cities or counties) with a population between 25,000 and 1,000
  • more than $75,000 investment within jurisdictions (cities or counties) in local with a population of less than 1,000

Type of tax credits available
  •  Income tax credit
    • investor files Notice of Intent to Rehabilitate with the Department of Revenue
    • credit equals 25 percent of actual expenses but the credit may not exceed $500,000
    • credit must be taken over five years beginning with the tax year the building is placed into service after rehabilitation
    • taxpayer may not claim income tax credit in addition to the Textile Communities Revitalization Act or Retail Facilities Revitalization Act credits

  • Property tax credit
    • investor files Notice of Intent to Rehabilitate with city or county
    • council must determine, by resolution, the eligibility of the project
    • council must hold a public hearing and approve the project for the credit by ordinance
    • at least 45 days before the public hearing the city or county must notify all affected taxing entities
    • if the taxing entity does not file an objection by the date of the public hearing, then the local taxing entity consents to the tax credit
    • credit equals 25 percent of actual expenses but the credit may not to exceed 75 percent of the real property taxes due on the building
    • credit may be taken up to eight years beginning with the tax year building is placed into service

    Timeframe for implementation

    • sunsets in 2019
    • retroactive to January 1, 2013
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