Preservation Action, Legislative Update
Volume 20, Number 06, February 24, 2017 →
Historic Tax Credit Improvement Act Introduced in House and Senate
Last week, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) along with 4 other cosponsors, introduced the Historic Tax Credit Improvement Act (S.425). Companion legislation (H.R 1158) was also introduced in the House by Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). H.R 1158 currently has 17 cosponsors, including 8 members of the Ways and Means Committee. The legislation, similar to bills introduced in previous congresses, would improve and enhance the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit program.The bill would increase the tax credit from 20% to 30% on projects with less than $2.5 million in qualified rehabilitation expenses. It would also simplify the process for small developers, allowing a 1 time transfer of the credits as a tax certificate. These changes would further encourage the rehabilitation of historic buildings and make more historic properties eligible to use the tax credit, especially benefiting smaller projects.
While this legislation is a positive step, it does not eliminate the ongoing threat to the historic tax credit program posed by tax reform efforts. Both the Trump Administration and congressional leaders have identified tax reform as top priority and based on the Tax Reform Blueprint released by House Republicans last summer, tax credit programs like the Historic Tax Credit, are being targeted for elimination. The Historic Tax Credit Improvement Act (HTCIA) provides an alternative plan for the HTC, by expanding the program and making it more effective. Introduction of the HTCIA also allows members of Congress to positively demonstrate their support of the HTC. We encourage you to reach out to your Representative and Senators and ask them to sign on as a to the Historic Tax Credit Improvement Act. Our partners at the National Trust for Historic Preservation have created an easy to use tool to send a customizable letter to your members of congress requesting their support.
Also be sure to check out out our Action Alert for more information on this important issue and find out other ways you can help!
National Park Service Reports Record Breaking Visitation During 2016
The National Park Service (NPS) reported record breaking visitation in 2016, as they celebrated their centennial. According to data released by NPS, National Parks saw more than 330 million visits in 2016, up significantly from the record breaking, 307 million visits in 2015. Many individual National Parks, like Yosemite, the Grand Canyon and the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, also marked their highest attendance in 2016. 2016 marks the 3rd consecutive year National Parks saw record breaking visitation.
The National Park Service launched a major marketing campaign in 2016 to recognize their 100th anniversary. This included Find Your Park campaign which will continue in 2017 and the Every Kid in Park Initiative, which provides free National Park passes to every 4th grader and their families.
Bills Introduced In Tennessee Legislature to Enact a State Historic Tax Credit Program
State Senator Bo Watson introduced S.B 1040 which would enact a 25% state historic tax credit program in Tennessee. Companion legislation (H.B 1061) was also introduced in the state House by Rep. Gerald McCormick. Both bills have been referred to the their respective committees.
The legislation is largely modeled after the federal historic tax program and calls for 25% tax credit on qualified rehabilitation expenses. The tax credit would be taken in 3 annual installments and could be carried forward for 5 years. The legislation introduced also does not include an annual statewide cap. If passed, the legislation would be effective as of January 1, 2017. Preservation Action congratulates Tennessee on this important step in establishing a state historic tax credit program in Tennessee and especially the work of our partners at the Tennessee Preservation Trust.
Advocacy Week is Right Around the Corner. Register Today!
Join us for Advocacy Week 2017 at the Liaison Hotel on Capitol Hill from March 14-16. Registration includes in-depth training and policy briefings from an array of preservation and policy professionals. Ticketed events offer additional meetings with elected officials, their staff, and a national network of preservation advocates. Advocacy Week is our annual opportunity to have a mass impact on policy makers in support of preservation-positive legislation. With the Historic Tax Credit severely threatened by tax reform efforts, we need your voice! Register today!
Advocacy Week Agenda and One-pagers Now Available
Get all the documents you need for Advocacy Week. The preliminary agenda is now ready for download. The issue one-pagers are also ready and available for download in both pdf and .docx formats. Download today!
Preservation Action and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Offices (NCSHPO) organize our industry’s Advocacy Week each year, bringing over 250 preservationists to Washington, DC to promote sound federal preservation policy and programs.
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