BEAUFORT, S.C. - A new tax incentive in Beaufort is expected to help people spruce up older homes in the city's historic district.

The Beaufort Gazette reports that city council passed an incentive Tuesday that freezes property values for 10 years when owners make approved renovations worth at least half of the building's value.

The structures have to be at least 50 years old.

City officials say the incentive will apply to about 650 of the almost 850 buildings in the city's historic district. City planner Libby Anderson says almost 200 buildings elsewhere in the city also qualify.

Anderson says she hopes property owners will take advantage of the incentive, especially for vacant and abandoned structures.

Several South Carolina cities have similar incentives.