Downtown Washington Inc.

The Historic Washington Foundation, a sister organization to Downtown Washington Inc., still has about $50,000 available in Neighborhood Assistance Program tax credits for its low-interest facade improvement loan program.

The foundation was approved for $325,000 in credits.

“We would like to get the tax credits sold by Dec. 31,” said Bridgette Kelch, Downtown Washington Inc. executive director.

Those eligible to purchase the credits are individuals who operate a sole proprietorship, operate a farm, have rental property or have royalty income, as well as a shareholder in an S-corporation, a partner in a partnership or a member of a Limited Liability Corporation.

The foundation can accept donations and in turn offer 70 percent of that donation back to the donor as a state tax credit.

“The donations can be made by check or cash or stocks and bonds,” said Kelch.

These tax credits are part of $7.3 million being awarded by the Department of Economic Development to nonprofits across Missouri for community development projects.

The credits will benefit the group’s low-interest facade improvement revolving loan program, which offers financing for facade improvements, as well as hands-on classes for historic building maintenance.

“The program is being created to provide an incentive for property owners to rehabilitate, reuse or enhance buildings in the downtown district, specifically those buildings that are vacant or have underutilized upper-floor space,” Kelch said.

The long-term goal, she said, is to continue to attract new investors, businesses and residents to Downtown Washington.

Kelch said potential projects for the facade improvement loan may include, but are not limited to, reinstalling bricked-in or otherwise obscured windows; replacing ill-fitting and/or noncompliant replacement windows; removing inappropriate materials; repainting brick; repainting currently painted brick; restoration of historic storefronts; and updating or adding signage and awnings.

This is the fourth time the downtown group has received NAP tax credits, which helped with the post office renovation at Lafayette and Second streets and the Farmers’ Market.