Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 18, 2018

Loebsack visits renovations of State Theatre, Evening Journal offices

May 29, 2018
Dave Loebsack, 2nd District Congressman from Iowa, visits with State Theatre Manager Crystle Christner and Washington Main Street director Sarah Grunewaldt in the theatre lobby Friday.

By John Butters. The JOURNAL


Historic district tax credits are important to the preservation of our communities and Congress’ decision to keep them in the 2017 tax bill was good for Iowa, said Dave Loebsack as he toured Washington Friday.

Loebsack, Iowa’s 2nd District Congressman and a vocal advocate for the tax credits, met with Main Street Washington director Sarah Grunewaldt to review two projects that have benefited from the state and federal programs.

Those projects include Washington’s State Theatre and the ongoing renovation of the Washington Evening Journal offices at 111 North Marion Avenue.

“I came to get a sense of the community and what is happening with the projects. I want to meet with the people who are in charge of the Main Street community,” he said.

Grunewaldt, who is also an advocate for the program, said it was important for legislators to see the results of the money being invested back into the community.

“He wants to see the results of the federal programs,” she said.

During his visit, Loebsack met with the people who manage the projects and talked with them about how the federal dollars were being spent in Washington.

“The revitalization of downtowns is important to Iowa’s economy,” Loebsack said, “and a key factor in encouraging people to come downtown to shop.”

The federal historic preservation tax credit was thrown into doubt this past fall when the House voted to abolish it. But active lobbying by national groups like the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the National Trust Community Investment Corporation and the Historic Tax Credit Coalition, and local groups like Main Street Washington, persuaded Congress to retain the program.

The incentive was reinstated in the December 2017 tax bill, though with a somewhat reduced benefit for investors.

Loebsack was one of the representatives actively supporting the economic incentive.

“We want our communities to do more than stay alive. We want them to thrive,” he said.

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