City of Tacoma News –Historic Landmarks May Receive Tax Breaks

“The restored Harmon Building and former Schoenfeld Building, two prominent Tacoma landmarks, have been renovated and have a new life. Now, the owners of these two buildings may receive tax breaks for helping Tacoma retain these historic buildings.Wednesday, October 13, the Landmarks Preservation Commission will meet to review each building’s historic renovation costs and determine how much each building should receive in tax breaks.Buildings on the Tacoma Register of Historic Places that spend at least 25 percent of the building’s pre-facelift value can – by state law – obtain property tax relief, according to the City of Tacoma. Once a building owner or developer completes a project, the building owner can submit renovation costs to the Landmarks Commission for approval.The commission subtracts qualifying expenses from the building’s post-restoration value, and building owners pay property tax only on the remaining amount for the next 10 years.The Schoenfeld Building’s owners have submitted $12.6 million in restoration costs to the Landmarks Commission. If the commission approves all or most of the expenses, the building’s owners will pay significantly lowered property taxes for the next decade, according to the City, provided they retain the building’s historic character.The former Schoenfeld Building now serves as the business offices of Total Renal Care.The Harmon Building’s owners have claimed $5.6 million in restoration costs.The Landmarks Preservation Commission is comprised of 15 city residents including architects, attorneys, historians, planners and a neighborhood representative. The historic preservation tax exemption program is designed to encourage restoration of the City’s buildings, especially in the downtown area.Restored buildings obtain a tax break, while keeping the city’s important landmarks and Tacoma retains its historic look and feel.The Landmarks Preservation Commission meets Wednesday, at 5 p.m. in room 708 of the Municipal Building, 747 Market Street, Tacoma.”