The City of Beaufort, and Beaufort County, adopted the Bailey Bill in late September 2014. This is a great new tool for preservation and rehabilition of historic buildings within the city.
What is the Bailey Bill?
The Bailey Bill is a special property tax incentive for rehabilitating historic buildings. If a property owner invests a minimum of 75% of their building’s assessed value back into the building, and the work is eligible and approved, then the assessed value of the property is “frozen” at the pre-rehabilitation value for the next 10 years.
What structures can qualify?
Properties must meet at least one of the following criteria:
1. Be located in the Historic District and be at least 50 years old; or
2. Be listed on the 1997 Beaufort County Above Ground Historic Sites Survey.
What is the minimum investment?
75% of the Fair Market Value of the building. This is typically the Beaufort County Tax Assessor's assesed value of the structure. It can also be a recent appraisal (within 45 days of the application).
What type of work is eligible?
Work proposed will be reviewed in accordance with “Expenditures for Rehabilitation” as defined by SC 12-120.D: "Expenditures for rehabilitation" means the actual costs of rehabilitation relating to one or more of the following:
• Improvements located on or within the historic building as designated;
• Improvements outside of but directly attached to the historic building which are necessary to make the building fully useable (such as vertical circulation) but shall not include new construction of rentable/habitable floor space;
• Architectural and engineering services attributable to the design of the improvements; or
• Costs necessary to maintain the historic character or integrity of the building.
Is there a fee? Bailey Bill applications cost $150 for single family residences & duplexes, and $300 for all other types of buildings. The first HRB application fee will be waived.
What is the process?
1. Go to the Pre-Application conference.
2. Attend the Historic Review Board meeting. Both an HRB form, plus an Bailey Bill Part A Application Form, are required.
3. Once preliminary approval to the Bailey Bill application has been granted, sign an Memorandum of Understanding.
4. Once the project is complete, fill out the Bailey Bill- Part B Application Form for Final Approval.