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Tax credits, historic designation sought for Sharpsburg

April 03, 2007|by KAREN HANNA

SHARPSBURG - Residents of the Town of Sharpsburg could be eligible for tax credits good toward 20 percent of the cost of work around their homes if efforts to get the town on the National Register of Historic Places are successful, Brien Poffenberger said during the town council's meeting Monday.

Mayor Hal Spielman said the town's historical society approached him seeking a letter of support for a grant application dealing with the registry.

Poffenberger, the president of the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce, said the grant would pay for a consultant to prepare the town's application to join the National Registry.

If it secures a designation as a historic place, Poffenberger said the town will confirm what its residents already know.

"Sharpsburg is an incredibly historic, significant place," he said.

With the designation, residents doing certain types of work on their property would be able to apply for tax credits of 20 percent, Poffenberger said. The designation would not restrict owners from changing their properties as they choose, but people who applied for the credits would have to adhere to certain preservation principles, he said.

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"That is really the gist of this, putting money back into the pockets of the property owners," Poffenberger said.

Poffenberger said the grant application asked for $20,000. He said he expects to know this fall whether the request to fund a consultant will be approved, and he estimated the entire process could be completed sometime in 2008 or early 2009.

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