Richland County Council has approved changes to the Bailey Bill to enhance incentives for restoring historic buildings in unincorporated Richland County. The Bailey Bill, named for the state law that allows local governments to freeze property taxes on historic structures, has been amended to conform to the City of Columbia’s ordinance and the state statute.
This means the owner of a building who plans to do historically accurate renovations can apply to the abatement program. If approved, the property will be assessed on the pre-rehabilitation fair market value for twenty (20) years, saving the owner taxes that would normally increase due to the improved value of the building. The other important change is to decrease the minimum expenditure required, now set at 20% of the fair market value of the building. Criteria have been established to designate “historic” buildings. Structures that do not fall within specific categories may apply to the Conservation Department for designation.
The community benefits because the program provides a significant financial incentive to preserve and restore historic buildings by making renovation projects more economically feasible. These revitalized buildings foster economic development, improve aesthetics and surrounding property values, and inject new energy and hope into declining neighborhoods.
For more information, contact Nancy Stone-Collum, Richland County Conservation Department, 576-2083 or firstname.lastname@example.org.