Ask Your Legislator for Adequate Funding for State and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices
Who to Talk to:
Every member of Congress but most importantly members of the Appropriations Committees and especially the House and Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittees.
What to Request:
Ask appropriators listed at right to adequately fund these core programs of the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF). Specifically ask for a $46.925 million appropriation (level funding) in FY 2013 for State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs) and $9.7 million for Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (THPOs).
If your member is not an appropriator ask him/her to contact his/her Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman and/or Ranking Member — Jack Reed, Chair (D-RI), Lisa Murkowski, Ranking (R-AK) in the Senate; Michael Simpson, Chair (R-ID) and Jim Moran, Ranking (D-VA) in the House — to ask them to support $46.925 million for the State Historic Preservation Offices and $9.7 million for Tribal Historic Preservation Offices.
SHPOs administer the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit program which created more than 55,000 jobs and generated $4.02 billion in private investment in 2011.
Clearly articulate how inadequate funding has and will compromise preservation activities in your state or district: no bricks and mortar grants; inadequate or piecemeal survey work; lengthy turn around times for Section 106 reviews (particularly due to the large number of stimulus projects) and tax act certifications; the inability to be a proactive force for heritage tourism promotion, community revitalization, and economic investment in historic resources.
Try to identify projects and programs of interest to your member that will continue to languish without proper funding.
Acknowledge that you understand domestic spending cuts are being felt because of the budget deficit and the recession. Point out that the current focus on job creation and economic development is perfectly in line with historic preservation programs.
Mention that the source of SHPO and THPO funding is not tax revenue but rather from the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF), funded by Outer Continental Shelf Oil Leases. Every year $150 million in lease revenue is deposited into the HPF. Ask that these revenues be used for their intended purpose and not sacrificed as a budget-balancing tool.
Point out that funding for THPOs has not kept pace with the number of new THPOs added each year – therefore, with the addition of each new THPO, there is actually less funding for each program.