The city of Bismarck created an incentive almost two decades ago helping revamp one of its historic districts.
The Renaissance Zone Program offers business and homeowners tax exemptions if they develop historical downtown buildings.
This fall, the City Commission considered raising the level of investment necessary for homeowners, and possibly some other qualifying criteria.
This request, coming from the Renaissance Zone Authority, was approved just before the Christmas holiday. The amended Development Plan adjusts the approval criteria for single-family homes.
Before the decision, for anyone to qualify for the program, home or business, they had to invest $15 per square foot into the property. Now, for homeowners looking to apply, the level of investment has gone up to $25 per square foot.
In addition, property tax exemptions now vary from home to home. If a homeowner invests 40 percent of the building’s value to restore it, they can receive a full exemption. And, an investment of at least 20 percent will now be required to receive the minimum, 20 percent property tax exemption.
No rules have changed for businesses in the renaissance zone.