Nashville leaves building preservation money on the table

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Unlike other cities in the state, Nashville has rarely used a large tax incentive to rehabilitate old buildings over the past 14 years.

The Tennessean ( ) reports a federal historic tax credit pays up to 20 percent of the rehabilitation costs to fix up commercial buildings.

Nashville projects have used the tax credits just eight times since 2002, whereas the incentives have been used 73 times in Memphis in that time period. Knoxville has had 43 projects use the tax credits, and Chattanooga had 14.

Possible reasons for why Nashville developers haven’t used the program much include the city’s development boom and the lengthy application process.

To qualify for the credits, a building must be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and be planned for a commercial use.