by Leslee Kulba
Wild West blogger
Maybe with a little digging you could learn that the first black woman to babysit a slightly famous poet picked up the mail at the house down the street. That could save your neighbor a few bucks on his property taxes. But the Henderson County Planning Board was underwhelmed by a request to offer historical properties tax breaks.
The Planning Board members were reacting to a planning staff report showing that the county has 543 structures more than 100 years old, 2,572 more than 75 years old and 9,619 more than 50 years old. The report also showed that Asheville and Buncombe County defer almost $1 million a year in property taxes for 116 properties that have the historic tax credit.
Hendersonville has 54 properties in historic districts but only two that currently receive the historic tax credit.
Presenters pointed out the two most obvious historic places in Asheville, the Grove Park Inn and the Biltmore Estate, do not want the tax credits because they don’t want to conform to the strings attached.
Remember Fred English’s comment to Asheville City Council when a building of obscure historical significance requested a designation to reduce its taxes:
If that’s a historic landmark, then I’m an endangered species.