We are proud to be beginning the process of redeveloping in Fergus Falls. We started with parts of the former Regional Treatment Center and saving them from demolition and repurposing historic properties in Fergus Falls. We have to do so to keep growth redevelopment and expansion possible in the wake of 2020. The Minnesota State historic tax credit was necessary and could expire without help. The credits will be needed to help us and or others save and continue to save beautiful historic properties at the former Fergus Falls Regional Treatment center and repurpose them to their highest and best use.

We need to continue to extend the Historic Tax Credit in Minnesota. Since 2010, the bipartisan- supported Minnesota State Structure Rehabilitation Tax Credit has served the state in countless ways. The tax credit has put over $3.5 billion into Minnesota’s economy, created over 18,650 jobs, and touches 97% of industries. In Greater Minnesota specifically, the tax credit has shown large returns, where projects have generated up to $16 for the state for every $1 of invested tax credit.

We could not have done our redevelopment without Minnesota’s historic tax credit. It has allowed us to save buildings from the wrecking ball, saving the beautiful Clarence Johnston designed buildings (he also was known for Glensheen Mansion, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s house, Williams Arena, Walter Library and others).

Our saved buildings like new, and a better alternative than losing the history of our town and community. The buildings will be enjoyed by many generations to come.

This year, the historic tax credit economic development program will end if the Minnesota Legislature does not vote to extend the tax credit. With the loss of that program, we will be in danger of losing a proven economic development program when we need it most. Without this tool we will lose the opportunity to rebuild our local economy and create well-paid jobs.

As importantly, we will lose the visible threads of our community’s history. Projects like the Campus View Apartments and The Cottage the future at the historic Fergus Falls State Hospital would not have been possible without the historic tax credit.

Simply put, the tax credit is not just about preserving historic buildings but revitalizing communities through creating jobs and setting the foundation for Minnesota to thrive in the future. If extended I expect more successful projects will be saved all over Minnesota.

So please understand the historic tax credits work and support the ability to renovate historic treasures that define our communities throughout Minnesota.

 

Jeff Scholssman

Fargo

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