In this episode of the Real Deal Podcast, we discuss the past, present and future of the recently defunct Alabama Historic Tax Credit that has been praised and criticized in the media since its inception in 2013 until ending recently this year.
On one side of the local fence in Mobile sits Elizabeth Sanders, CEO of the Downtown Mobile Alliance (DMA) who has been a strong proponent of the act since inception.
Ensconced across Mobile Bay in Baldwin County sits Senator Trip Pittman (R-Fairhope) who famously called the act “welfare for the rich” and instrumental in the program’s failed bid at renewal and death in Goat Hill’s Senate.
Lauded by proponents, it was argued that the act assisted with dynamic economic growth downtown by attracting non-local investors with buckets of cash bent on reinvigorating dilapidated commercial properties; additionally the Alabama Historic Tax Credit ostensibly helped ignite a new “big city” buzz recently felt in a centuries old downtown business district, city and region.
Invited into the studio in this episode to help sift through the facts and fallacies of the program was Stephen McNair, PhD., president of Mobile-based McNair Historic Preservation.
In the Rumour Mill, mixmaster Johnny G. and Ron discuss a possible noteworthy addition to the historic Port City skyline as well as a well-known downtown entrepreneur maybe snatching up property right and left to add to his empire.
This “historic” show examines:
* A brief recap of Stephen McNair’s journey from Murphy High School to the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and back again prior to forming his consulting firm
* The financial structure and layering of federal and state historic tax credits in the U.S. and how states use them.
* Impact of the Alabama State Historic Tax Credit locally with well-known area properties. The “Halo Effect” explained.
* How other surrounding states use these programs and if Alabama is now at a competitive disadvantage.
* A timeline of the debate from beginning to end. Misconceptions about the program from detractors.
* Best and worst case scenarios if the program is renewed in 2017 or not. Vegas odds on the outcome.
* “Blight” defined; entropy and growth discussed. Current perspective from out-of-state developers formerly heavily involved in local development.
* Eye-opening statewide economic impact results from the program put together by an independent third-party study.
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The Real Deal Podcast is produced in cooperation with Deep Fried Studios.