Preservation Action, Legislative Update
Volume 20, Number 24, July 28, 2017 →

Action Alert: Schedule a Meeting or Site Visit During the August Recess

Congress will be on recess from July 31st to September 4th. Contact your members of Congress today and request an in-district/in-state meeting or site-visit!

Congress is expected to begin their summer recess soon. This is the best chance of the year to meet with your members of Congress or invite them to tour a historic tax credit project in their district/state. It is critical that lawmakers hear from preservationists during the recess. We need to insure that historic preservation is a priority.

Historic Tax Credit

Tax reform is quickly becoming the top legislative priority for Congress, and based on previous draft proposals, like the Tax Reform Blueprint, the future of the Historic Tax Credit is at risk. Congressional leaders have committed to producing tax reform legislation by the end of the year and in the aftermath of the Senate healthcare votes indicated a pivot towards tax reform. This makes the August recess (July 31st to September 4th) the best time to reach members of Congress before tax reform legislation is released. We need your help to protect the HTC!

TAKE ACTION

1

  • Invite your members of Congress to attend an in-district/in-state meeting or tour a completed or planned HTC project. Showing members of Congress rehabilitated historic buildings is one of the most effective ways to demonstrate the value of the HTC. Also be sure to tie in the important role SHPOs and THPOs (funded by the Historic Preservation Fund) play in administering the HTC. If your member of Congress is unavailable, it is absolutely still valuable to meet with their staff. Check out this excellent guide for more information on arranging a congressional site visit and a sample meeting request letter. If you need any assistance arranging a site visit or meeting contact Rob Naylor at Preservation Action (rnaylor@preservationaction.org). Also be sure share stories and photos from your site visits with us on Facebook and Twitter!

2

  • Encourage your Representative and Senator to sign on as a cosponsor to the Historic Tax Credit Improvement Act (H.R 1158, S. 425). This bill would make several changes to improve and enhance the HTC. Signing on as a cosponsor is a great way for members of congress to demonstrate their support for the HTC. If your members of congress already signed on as a cosponsor, be sure to thank them for their support!

3

MATERIALS

Department of Interior Announces $50 Million in Funding for National Park Infrastructure Projects

This week, Secretary of Interior, Ryan Zinkeannounced $50 million in funding for National Park infrastructure projects across the country. These funds were made available, in part, by the NPS Centennial Act, approved by Congress last year. This bill sought to expand the Centennial Challenge program, which leverages public funding to attract private donations to address critical National Park Service (NPS) infrastructure needs. The Centennial Challenge program leveraged $33 million in private donations from $20 million in congressional funding. These funds will be used to benefit 42 National Park infrastructure projects in 29 states. The Centennial Challenge funds will be used to address ongoing infrastructure needs across our National Parks, including the rehabilitation of several historic buildings. Secretary Zinke made the announcement alongside Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) in Rocky Mountain National Park this week.

“Our national parks span twelve time zones and attract more than 330 million visitors every year. Some locations, like Rocky Mountain National Park, attract millions of visitors alone. This puts an incredible stress on the aging infrastructure at our parks and thanks to Centennial Grants and the generosity of public-private partners, we are able to distribute funds to rebuild our parks,” Secretary Zinke said during the announcement.

The Centennial Challenge program has used $45 million in congressional funding to leverage over $75 million in private donations. While these funds are great news, much more work needs to be done. The NPS still faces a $12 billion maintenance backlog. The National Park Service Legacy Act (H.R 2584S. 751) would address this backlog, by creating the NPS Legacy Restoration Fund, funded through existing oil and gas lease revenue at $500 million annually.

Check out the complete list of projects receiving Centennial Challenge funds.

Save the Date! Preservation Action Foundation After Party and Auction Returns Nov. 15th

PastFoward 2017We’re excited to announce the revival of our annual benefit auction with the Preservation Action Foundation’s After Party and Auctionon November 15, 2017 from 830pm-1030pm during the National Preservation Conference in Chicago, IL! The annual auction had long been a highlight for Preservation Action and of the National Preservation Conference. The After Party and Auction will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 15th at the Cliff Dwellers Club on the 22nd floor of the Borg-Warner building in Chicago. The event will held from 8pm-10pm following the Opening Reception of the National Preservation Conference at the Field Museum. Please save the date, and stay tuned for more details!

If your interested in donating an item to be auctioned off during the National Preservation Conference email Rob Naylor at rnaylor@preservationaction.org. Ideal auction items include hotel stays, tours of historic sites, or other unique experiences. We’d love to feature your city or state at our annual auction! Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

Registration for the National Preservation Conference Now Open

PastFoward 2017, the National Preservation Conference hosted by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, will be held Nov. 14-17 in Chicago, IL. Check out the conference website for more information. Register today!

National News

National Park Service: “National Park Service Releases Reconstruction Era Theme Study

Stories From Around the States

Virginia: “Richmond Neighborhood Transformed With Historic Tax Credits

Tennessee: “Senate Bill Recommends $8 Million for K-25 Historic Preservation Work

New York: “Senator Gillibrand, Congressman Reed Announce Bi-Partisan Effort to Make Finger Lakes a National Heritage Area

Missouri: “House Passes Clay-Smith Bill Directing Park Service to Commemorate Civil Rights Movement

Leave a Comment