MONTGOMERY — A dozen renovations of historic structures in Alabama received $20 million in tax credits this year.

None of them are located north of Birmingham.

To make sure developers and private property owners are aware of the Historical Rehabilitation Tax Credit created by lawmakers in 2013, a seminar is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon June 15 at the Alabama Center for the Arts in Decatur.

“This tax credit is available, and people need to know about it,” said Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur.

It is a 25 percent refundable tax credit for private homeowners and commercial property owners who substantially rehabilitate historic properties on or eligible for the National Registry of Historic Places, and are at least 60 years old.

The credit is capped at $5 million for commercial properties and $50,000 for homes, according to information from the Alabama Historical Commission.

Qualifying expenses on renovation projects include the repair of exterior materials, structural systems, interior finishes such as floors, walls and ceilings, and upgrades to heating, cooling, electrical and plumbing systems.

This year, there are 14 projects on a waiting list. Only one of them — a private residence in Huntsville — is in north Alabama.

The tax credit was reauthorized by lawmakers in 2017, and Orr amended the legislation so that at least 40 percent of them each year are dedicated to projects in smaller communities.

“What was happening in the first round, the big communities were getting all of the money,” Orr said last week. Selma, Prattville and Dothan are some of the smaller cities on this year’s list.

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Up to $4.7 million saved

The recent reorganization of the Alabama State Department of Education that eliminated 39 positions will save up to $4.7 million a year, Deputy State Superintendent Andy Craig said Friday.

That figure wasn’t available Thursday when interim State Superintendent Ed Richardson updated the State Board of Education on changes within the department.

There are now 437 employees in the department. Some of the 39 eliminated positions were vacant.

Prior to the reorganization, the department had 43 at-will employees whose employment fell outside the state’s normal salary structure. Some were earning about $35,000 more than they should have been, Richardson said. There are now 10 at-will employees, and some have had their salaries reduced.

mary.sell@decaturdaily.com. Twitter @DD_MarySell.

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