BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -
A Kern County leader is hoping to provide people a hand in protecting our history.
A proposed incentive program would offer a tax break to those wishing to restore certified historic buildings.
The program aims at discovering some of the heritage and history of Kern County and doing something with it, instead of just throwing it all away.
Kern County supervisor Mike Maggard remembers the good ‘ol days.
“I use to go to lunch in this place. I use to work across the street a long time ago when I was a rookie accountant, I think it was called Bee’s Lounge and just enjoyed the building,” he said.
Now, he wants to help people restore some of Kern County’s history, like the Naked Bank on 18th and Chester in Downtown Bakersfield.
“You can’t go into a restaurant, you can’t walk into a grocery store, you can’t be in a public conversation anywhere without somebody mentioning the unique beauty and opportunity that this represents. It really is the talk of our community,” said Maggard.
Maggard is proposing a property tax incentive to those interested in restoring certified historic buildings.
“The idea is to exempt from property taxation for a period of time, the increase of property tax value of a building like this when you’ve taken in from its unrestored state to a new restored state and to defer or exempt the taxation of that increase and value for a period of something like 25 years,” he said.
Giving people a tax break on the restoration of historic buildings may cost the county, and even tax payers.
“I think we have to off set the potential value to the culture and history and ambience to our community vs. the relatively marginal difference in property tax that would be paid in because we’re not talking about a hundred of these buildings. We’re talking about a pressure few of them but I’d like to see if we can find a way that we can incentives people to look before they tear them down,” said Maggard.
Maggard made a referral to the county council to explore options on creating an incentive program and working to put it in place.
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