Hatch visits Washington
Iowa Senator Jack Hatch, a candidate for the Democratic race for Iowa governor, was in town Wednesday evening to discuss the importance of historical tax credits.
Speaking with about 30 people in a downtown historical building, Hatch said that his company in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids had used historic tax credits on many occasions. He said part of his knowledge of historic tax credits comes from living in Sherman Hills, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Des Moines.
“Historic preservation is not about government, it is all about people,” he said. “It is about what you want to do.”
Hatch related a story of how a neighbor had purchased an old house scheduled to be demolished many years ago and worked to improve it. He said now, with the help of historic tax credits, there are only three houses out of hundreds in the neighborhood that need improvement.
He said the historic tax credit program is a federal program. It allows people to get credits against federal and state taxes for improvements in a historical building.
“You can literally, over a period of time, pay for a renovation by not paying taxes,” he said.
Hatch said that there is a list of items, including the building being on the state historical registry, that have to be done for people to get the tax credits. He said that the credits can be sold to another party.
He said that there is a way to do any project the city is considering. He said that because Washington was recently named a historical district, this makes it easier. He said that there is grant money available for historical preservation.
“You are limited only by your imagination,” Hatch said.
During the discussion, Mayor Sandra Johnson invited Hatch to be a guest for the 175th anniversary celebration this summer. Hatch said he would attend.