Tuesday, December 14, 2004

A For-Profit Facade? (washingtonpost.com)Editorial

A For-Profit Facade? (washingtonpost.com): "A For-Profit Facade?
Tuesday, December 14, 2004; Page A26
STROLL THROUGH Georgetown, Capitol Hill or Old Town Alexandria, and the aesthetic benefits of historic preservation are apparent. Less obvious -- but for homeowners a motivating factor, along with safeguarding the architectural charm of their neighborhoods -- are the tax benefits. As detailed by The Post's Joe Stephens, a growing number of homeowners, in the Washington area and around the country, are taking hefty tax deductions for donating 'facade easements' -- promises not to alter the outward appearance of their homes without permission. Though such changes may already be barred by local ordinances, and granting such an easement may not actually diminish the resale price, the taxpayers generally get breaks amounting to about 11 percent of their homes' value. "

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