Preservation Action, Legislative Update
Volume 20, Number 15, May 12, 2017 →

House Committee Announces Hearing on Tax Reform

Preservation Action continues to closely follow the current effort to reform our tax code and the impact tax reform will have on the Federal Historic Tax Credit (HTC). At the end of last month President Trump released a 1 page document outlining the goals of tax reform. The document didn’t provide many details on specific programs, but did call to “eliminate tax breaks for special interests”, which could include the HTC. Last week House Republicans passed the American Health Care Act, potentially clearing the way for tax reform. This week the House Ways and Means Committee announced a hearing on tax reform, scheduled for May 18th. At the hearing titled “How Tax Reform Will Grow Our Economy and Create Jobs“, the committee will hear from invited witnesses, and are accepting written statements from interested parties.

House Republicans are currently working on crafting tax reform legislation, which they hope to pass and have enacted by the end of the year. A blueprint for tax reform, titled A Better Way, was released by House Republicans last summer and proposes the elimination of several tax preferences and credits, and while not specifically targeted, would include the HTC.

It is critical for advocates to continue to demonstrate the importance and value of the HTC to lawmakers. One way is from a strong showing of bipartisan support for the Historic Tax Credit Improvement Act. If they haven’t already, encourage your Representative to cosponsor  H.R 1158 and your Senators to cosponsor S. 425. Another great way to leverage the HTC is by scheduling site visits with your members of congress to historic tax credit projects. At Preservation Action, we are leveraging National Historic Preservation Month as an opportunity to get your members of congress and their staff out to visit tax credit projects. Reach out to your members today and invite them to tour a historic tax credit project today! Learn more.

DOI Announces List of National Monuments Under Review and Opens Public Comment Period

The Department of Interior officially announced the list of 27 National Monuments that will be reviewed under President Trump’s Executive Order. From that review the DOI could recommend to rescind, resize or modify those 27 existing National Monuments. President Trump signed the Executive Order 2 weeks ago, ordering the review of National Monuments from the last 21 years that are over 100,000 acres or “made without adequate public outreach.” Following the announcement, Secretary of Interior, Ryan Zinke, spent much of the week in Utah touring the Bear’s Ears National Monument. The 27 National Monuments in question contain naturally, culturally and historically significant sites that were protected under Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton’s use of the Antiquities Act.

Marianas Trench Pacific Ocean 2009
Northeast Canyons and Seamounts     Atlantic Ocean 2016
Pacific Remote Islands Pacific Ocean 2009
Papahanaumokuakea Hawaii 2006/2016
Rose Atoll American Samoa 2009
Katahadin Woods and Waters Maine 2016
Basin and Range Nevada 2015
Bears Ears Utah 2016
Berryessa Snow Mountain California 2015
Canyons of the Ancients Colorado 2000
Carrizo Plain California 2001
Cascade Siskiyou Oregon 2000/2017
Craters of the Moon Idaho 1924/2000
Giant Sequoia California 2000
Gold Butte Nevada 2016
Grand Canyon-Parashant Arizona 2000
Grand Staircase-Escalante Utah 1996
Hanford Reach Washington 2000
Ironwood Forest Arizona 2000
Mojave Trails California 2016
Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks New Mexico 2014
Rio Grande del Norte New Mexico 2013
Sand to Snow California 2016
San Gabriel Mountains California 2014
Sonoran Desert Arizona 2001
Upper Missouri River Breaks Montana 2001
Vermilion Cliffs Arizona 2000

 

The DOI also announced they would accept public comments on the National Monuments review beginning May 11th. The public comment period on Bear’s Ears National Monument is open until May 26th, while the comment period of the other 26 national monuments is open until June 10th. We encourage everyone to submit your comments on the importance of Bear’s Ears National Monument and other 26 National Monuments, particularly the monuments you have a direct connection to. Comments can be submitted online at by following the link below.

Submit Comments on National Monument Review 

Celebrate National Historic Preservation Month This May

Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) speaking at HTC project, the Phillips Packing Plant in Cambridge, MD on March 10th. Photo: Preservation Maryland

Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) speaking at HTC project, the Phillips Packing Plant in Cambridge, MD on March 10th. Photo: Preservation Maryland

Celebrate National Historic Preservation Month this May! Tours, special programs and events celebrating all things preservation, will be happening across the country throughout May. Let us know what your city or state is doing to celebrate Preservation Month!

Preservation Month Site Visits

National Historic Preservation Month is a great time to reach out to your members of Congress and their staff, and invite them tour a historic tax credit project or join a Preservation Month event. Preservation Action is working to leverage Preservation Month as a great opportunity for members of Congress to visit historic tax credit sites. The co-chairs of the Historic Preservation Caucus, Representatives Mike Turner (R-OH) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), along with Preservation Action, sent a letter to House members recognizing Preservation Month and encouraging site visits while in district.

Preservation Month Dear Colleague Letter 

The House and Senate will on an in-district period May 27-June 3 and again July 1-8. One thing we heard time and time again from congressional staff during Advocacy Week, was site visits help to show members of Congress the tangible impact of programs like the Historic Tax Credit. If the member/s of congress are unavailable for a site visit, ask if members of their staff would available; this is still great way to highlight the impact of the HTC. Contact Rob Naylor with Preservation Action at rnaylor@preservationaction.org if you need any assistance facilitating a site visit. Share stories and photos from your site visits with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Alabama Senate Passes Historic Tax Credit Bill

Alabama is one step closer to the return of their historic tax credit program. The state Senate voted unanimously, 31-0, to advance legislation establishing a historic tax credit program. Alabama’s previous historic tax credit program was allowed to expire at the end of the last legislative session. The legislation, HB 345, now moves to the Alabama House before moving to Governor Kay Ivey’s desk to be signed into law.

Last year, legislation renewing the program came up just short in the Alabama Senate after being held from a vote over budgetary concerns. This year’s legislation includes several changes to Alabama’s previous historic tax credit program including, requiring historic structures to be at least 60 years of age to qualify for the credit, and requiring 40 percent of credits to be initially reserved for rural counties of the state. Congratulations to our partners at Alabama Preservation Action on their efforts. We’ll continue to track this important legislation.

National News

National Trust for Historic Preservation: “America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places: A Retrospective Guide

Stories From Around the States

Illinois: “Aurora Mayor Lobbies for Extension of Historic Tax Credit Program

Massachusetts: “Rep. Silvia Makes the Case for Changes to Historic Tax Credit Program

Leave a Comment