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The proposed $65 million Machinery Row development along the Root River in Racine has been approved for some $9 million in Historic Preservation Tax Credits, but the program has proved almost too successful and was placed on hiatus Monday.
Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation CEO Reed Hall sent a letter Monday to Joint Committee on Finance co-chairs state Sen. Alberta Darling and Rep. John Nygren alerting them that the tax credits are being put on hold until the Legislature provides more concrete guidance on how much is actually available through the program.
“The legislation (signed in December 2013) did not include a statutory limit on the amount of tax credits that could be certified on an annual basis,” the letter reads. “Based on the significantly higher than anticipated number and value of projects already approved … it is our intent to undergo a review of the program and to institute a program moratorium …”
Rep. Cory Mason, D-Racine, said the approval of historic tax credits for Machinery Row means the project can continue moving forward.
“This is really exciting news for Racine,” he said. “Getting this project off the ground was a solid bipartisan effort with the support of County Executive Jim Ladwig, Speaker Robin Vos and others.”
As for the future of the tax credit program, Mason said the original bill had bipartisan support, and he can see a committee from both sides of the aisle working together to keep it going.
“There’s no denying it’s successful so I can’t see it not continuing,” he added.