Preservation Action, Legislative Update
Volume 20, Number 21, June 30, 2017 →
Senators Introduce Energy Reform Bill, Includes HPF Reauthorization
The Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Sen. Maria Cantwell(D-WA) introduced a broad energy reform bill this week. The Energy and Natural Resources Act (S.1460) is similar to legislation passed by the Senate last year to reform energy policy, but ultimately failed in the conference committee process. This legislation includes the permanent reauthorization of the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) and the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The bill would also establish a National Park Service (NPS) Maintenance and Revitalization Fund, authorized at $150 million annually, to address the NPS maintenance backlog. This is similar to the NPS Legacy Act (S. 751, H.R 2584) introduced earlier this year to address the NPS maintenance backlog.
The HPF is currently authorized until 2023, after HPF reauthorization was included in the NPS Centennial Act which passed at the end of the last Congress. Permanent authorization is an important step in providing security for one of our nation’s most important historic preservation programs. The bill also includes 38 bills related to National Park management, including the designation new National Heritage Areas and the reauthorization of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities preservation program until 2024. Sen. Murkowski said of the Energy and Natural Resources Act:
“It has now been a full decade since Congress has passed legislation to modernize and reform our nation’s energy and resource policies. We came very close to achieving that goal last year, and have continued to work with our congressional colleagues and a wide range of stakeholders to write another strong bill.”
This bill was placed directly on the Senate calendar by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) allowing for expedited floor consideration. We thank Senators Murkowski and Cantwell for once again taking the lead on this important and bipartisan legislation, and we encourage quick action by the House and Senate to pass this important bill.
Legislation Establishing State Historic Tax Credit Introduced in Michigan Senate
Legislation was introduced in the Michigan Senate to revive the state’s historic tax credit program. Michigan has been without a state historic tax credit program since 2011. S.B 469, introduced by Sen. Wayne Schmidt, would effectively revive Michigan’s previous and successful historic tax credit program.
The bill calls for a 25% tax credit toward qualified rehabilitation expenses for contributing commercial and residential properties located within a local historic district. It also offers a supplemental five percent credit to the 20 percent federal historic preservation credit for income producing properties, and is the only credit available for owner-occupied historic homes.
The previous iteration of this program was in place from 1999 to 2011 and over that time leveraged $71 million in credits to generate more than $1.46 billion in investment in Michigan rehabilitation projects. Michigan Historic Preservation Network (MHPN) Executive Director, Nancy Finegood, said of S.B 469
“This will once again help make the historic properties that give our communities their unique character and sense of place economically viable.”
Check out the Advocacy Alert page from MHPN to learn more and find out how you can help!
Save the Date! Preservation Action Foundation After Party and Auction Returns Nov. 15th
We’re excited to announce the revival of our annual benefit auction with the Preservation Action Foundation’s After Party and Auction on November 15, 2017 from 8pm-10pm 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!
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.
PBS NewsHour: “Utah Lawsuits to Test President’s Power to Shrink Monuments“
Stories From Around the States
Pennsylvania: “Saving South Philly’s Churches“