The program that allows investors to qualify for tax breaks to renovate historic buildings would be extended by four years under legislation approved by the Louisiana House Ways and Means Committee Tuesday.

The current program ends in 2018.

Extending it until 2022 will allow multi-year investment projects to keep moving forward, state Rep. Walt Leger, D-New Orleans, sponsor of House Bill 387. His measure would cost taxpayers $10 million in 2018 and $45 million in 2019.

Under the law, investors can have taxpayers pay up to 25 percent of the costs of rehabilitating a historic property, up to $5 million.

“This subsidy is necessary to encourage the investment of private funds,” Leger said in an interview.

His bill now goes to the full House.