Historical property bill passes House

The state House of Representatives on Friday unanimously passed a bill that extends tax advantages to historical properties in towns like Aberdeen and Hoquiam that are in distressed areas and below a certain population.

House Bill 2868 passed 96-0, amending the Special Valuation Tax Credit of 1985 to extend the 10-year special valuation of historic properties to a maximum of 24 years which could help the development of historical buildings in Aberdeen and Hoquiam such as the Morck building, the Becker Building and the Electric Building, said Wil Russoul, executive director for the Downtown Aberdeen Association.

The bill limits tax credits to properties that are located in “distressed areas” as reported by the state employment security department and cities under 20,000 in population. Historic properties in Aberdeen and Hoquaim would be eligible, according to Russoul, who has testified in support of it. The bill is sponsored by Reps. Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen, and Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen. It still needs to pass the Senate before it can be signed into law by the governor.

“We have been working on this for well over a year to help our building owners get additional tax credits in hopes to see our buildings renovated. Passing of HB 2868 by the Legislative House into the Senate House is a sure sign that our representatives are positively partnering with small communities such as ours to preserve history and foster economics,” Russoul said.