MOUNT VERNON — Restoration of the Woodward Opera House took a major step closer to reality Tuesday when it was awarded Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit status by the Ohio Department of Development.
Project manager Pat Crow, director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the credit will result in a 25 percent funding contribution to the restoration costs of the project. That, in turn, will result in an additional $4 million for the project budget.
The program in turn can be coupled with Federal Historic Tax Credit status and the project could generate amounts over $7 million.
Crow explained that the program works by the non-profit organization entering a partnership with a private group on a qualified historic development project. The private group puts up the money for the project, then gets to use some of the tax credit against what it paid.
“It becomes virtually a grant,” Crow said.
Qualification for the federal program is automatic, but for the state program it’s competitive. The projects are evaluated in terms of jobs created and buildings put back into use and awarded points.