June 11--DURHAM -- An N.C. House committee on Wednesday voted in favor of continuing a tax credit that's helped finance the renovation of historic buildings like Durham's American Tobacco complex.
The voice vote came in the House Appropriations Committee and added the historic-rehabilitation credit to the House version of the budget.
The credit was due to expire at the end of the year. The N.C. Senate's draft budget, passed in that chamber on May 31, did not include an extension.
Despite Wednesday's vote, "our work isn't done," said Julie White, executive director of the N.C. Metropolitan Mayors Coalition, one of the group's that's lobbied for an extension. "The budget has a long way to go yet."
To become law with the rest of the budget, the provision has to survive an upcoming House floor vote and a House-Senate conference to reconcile the chambers' differing drafts.
Gov. Pat McCrory earlier this spring joined the Metro Mayors and groups like Preservation North Carolina in calling for an extension. The governor proposed reducing what for years has been a credit toward 25 percent of the cost of renovating old buildings for commercial use, in return for giving developers a shorter payback period.
White relayed word of the Appropriations Committee's decision Wednesday via Twitter and text message. She made a point of thanking House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, and Appropriations Senior Chairman Nelson Dollar, R-Wake, "for allowing" the committee to vote on the necessary amendment.
Rep. Dean Arp, R-Union, sponsored the amendment. Reps. Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, John Torbett, R-Gaston, and Joe Sam Queen, D-Haywood, spoke in favor of it. Moore said the measure would help urban and rural portions of the state, making it a "win-win" for the state.
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