Richland County Bailey Bill
The Bailey Bill (SC Code of Laws §4-9-195 and §5-21-140) authorizes local governments to offer a special property tax assessment for rehabilitated historic buildings. Richland County’s ordinance was amended in May 2013 to enhance the incentives to restore historic structures, thus making these renovation projects more economically feasible for home and business owners.
The main feature of the Bailey Bill is to assess property on the pre-rehabilitation fair market value for twenty (20) years. This means the owner of a historic structure continues to pay property tax on the pre-rehab value of the property, but does not pay tax on the increased value due to the renovations for twenty years. A minimum of 20% of the fair market value of the building must be spent on qualified rehabilitation expenditures.
What buildings qualify?
- Listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings individually or a contributing property in a district
- Determined eligible for the National Register by SC Dept. of Archives &History (SCDAH)
- Listed on the Richland County Bicentennial Committee Historic Homes and Buildings Landmark Program (1981)
- Columbia City Landmarks
- Town of Blythewood designated Historic Sites
- Designated Historic by Richland County Conservation Commission (RCCC)
For buildings that do not fall under the first five categories, an owner may apply to RCCC for designation. The structure must be at least 50 years old and demonstrate historic significance by meeting one of three criteria: association with historical events; association with the lives of significant people; or architectural importance.
The rehabilitation work must meet standards and be approved as appropriate for the historic building and historic district in which it is located. SCDAH, as the reviewing authority, will approve the proposed work plan except in the City of Columbia, whose Design/Development Review Committee will grant approvals. For types of work eligible for the 20% threshold, please click here.
What is the process?
To be eligible for the special tax assessment, a historic property owner must apply for Preliminary Certification prior to beginning work. The application includes documentation of fair market value, historic designation, and a thorough description of the rehabilitation planned. Once the Preliminary Certification is approved, work may begin and must be completed within two (2) years. Upon completion of the project, the owner submits a Final Certification form, invoices to document qualified expenditures, and pays a fee (listed in the Final Certification form). The work will be inspected and if approved, County officials will be notified that the property has been duly certified and is eligible for the special tax assessment established at the time the preliminary certification was made.
Historic Building Eligibility Application
Standards for Rehabilitation
Qualified Rehabilitation Expenditures
Richland County Bailey Bill Ordinance