WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – A battle is brewing over a tax incentive in North Carolina that gets much less attention than the credit that affects film.
It's the state's Historic Preservation Tax Program, and it could become history if it's allowed to run out at the end of the year.
"Many of these properties would have been condemned and probably demolished," Clark Hipp, an architect and developer in Wilmington, said.
Governor Pat McCrory announced Wednesday, his support for reviving the program, and local leaders have also voiced their approval.
"The state of North Carolina has always said and always valued its history and its heritage and what better way to invest in and insure history and heritage than have a tax stimulus for historic buildings," George Edwards with the Historic Wilmington Foundation said.
However, the decision is up to the general assembly when they reconvene in May.
"You can't just take a broom and sweep everything out the door. There are too many valuable things in our state that are affected by this credit," Edwards said.
Officials believe buildings like the A. David building on N. Front Street are a part of state history that bring big business to downtown Wilmington.
"We know they come for the beaches but, visitor after visitor mentions that what they come to this town for is to enjoy the historic neighborhoods, the walkable downtown, the river walk, and the cultural assets that this city has in abundance," Edwards explained.
Local leaders believe these assets pay for themselves.
"They create jobs, encourage the revitalization of our communities and bring new business downtown which is good for business," New Hanover County Commissioner Beth Dawson said.