City residents may not be aware of a seldom used tax incentive, which encourages renovation to historic property by continuing to tax home owners at their original assessed value. That was the case when Det and Lyanne Haislip, owners of True Value Hardware on Laurens Street, began improvements to their business. After being informed about the bill by their con-tractor, the Haislips inquired about it and found that restrictions in the city code prevented them from qualifying for the special incentive.
Even though they would not benefit themselves, the local business owners then decided to advocate for others in their position by requesting a change to the city code, now known as the Haislip Bill. The Haislip Bill lowers the amount of investment needed for renovations or improvements to qualify for the special tax incentive. It also gives the City Council broader power to designate a property as a historic structure if it meets certain criteria. The bill was passed by City Council in May. To see if you qualify, contact the City of Aiken Planning Department at 803-642-7608.