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      Proposed bill hopes to revitalize abandoned buildings

      A new bill introduced in the State House Wednesday aims to improve abandoned buildings across the Palmetto State.

      The Abandoned Buildings Revitalization Act is gaining support from many organizations. If passed, it will give developers an incentive to invest in those buildings that have been vacant for at least five years. It was created by Rep. James Smith (D-Richland) and Rep. Rick Quinn (R-Lexington) includes a 25% state income tax credit to those sites. The credit requires a $500,000 investment.

      It will also make an additional $19-$20 of state output for every $1 of tax credit applied; and may create between 100-150 new jobs.

      Rep. Smith said he has not met any opposition so far.

      "This is an opportunity to bring jobs and economic development to areas in the state which have been blighted for many, many years. I'm grateful that we have a very strong bipartisan coalition."

      The bill only applies to buildings that will be used for commercial use. Among the many supporters are the State Fire Fighters Association, Police Chiefs Association, and the Affordable Housing Coalition of South Carolina.