Historic tax-credit solution equitable

Everyone understands that closing the state’s huge budget deficit means making very unpleasant choices. So it was with the passage of the bill last week to reduce the size of the R.I. Historic Preservation Investment Tax Credit. The tax credit has had a demonstrably positive impact, and in an ideal world, it would not have been on the table. But in this reality awash in red ink, nothing can be considered sacred.
On the plus side, the R.I. General Assembly did not impose a retroactive cap on the size of the program, as some had advocated. That would have had a devastating effect on the state’s creditability as a development partner. Instead, the bill reduces the size of the credits and suspends the program for projects that had not been approved by Jan. 1 of this year.
By striking a compromise, the various interests involved have shown the way forward as the state grapples with many such unhappy choices.
We hope the tax credit, which is one of the state’s most successful development tools, is rescued from limbo in the not-too-distant future. But for right now, the budget crisis requires full attention – meaning more difficult decisions and resolute action. •

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