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Wisconsin Senate to vote on doubling state's historic tax credit

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - An effort to preserve more of Wisconsin's historic buildings will be up for a final vote in the state Legislature Tuesday. 

The Senate is scheduled to vote on a bill to double the state's tax credit to redevelop buildings put up before 1936. 

Developers would get tax credits of 20 percent of their qualifying expenses. The credit is now 10 percent -- and that was doubled from 5 percent in the state budget passed in late June. 

Racine, Green Bay, and Kenosha are among the places with historic restoration projects pending.

The measure passed by the Assembly last month on a 88-4 vote.

Some Republicans are concerned that the cost of the tax break might get out of control. The Joint Finance Committee would review those costs in 2015 to see if that's the case. 

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau says the tax benefit would cost $8.6 million over the next two years. That's based on the current usage of the tax credit, and lawmakers say the cost will most likely rise as it gets more lucrative for developers to preserve historic structures.