Time to Strengthen the Federal Historic Tax Credit
Federal and state historic tax credit (HTC) incentives often mean the difference between bringing historic buildings back to life and the continued underutilization of historic community assets that can become targets for demolition.
As Congress considers its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to stimulate economic activity, legislators must hear from the historic preservation community that the federal HTC is a proven economic recovery tool that should be strengthened and incorporated into legislation designed to revitalize our nation’s struggling communities.
On July 1, 2020, the Moving Forward Act (H.R. 2), a $1.5 trillion proposal designed to rebuild and invest in our nation’s infrastructure, passed the House 322 – 188. The now-expired proposal incorporated community development provisions that support infrastructure financing, including several provisions that strengthen the HTC. Inclusion of HTC provisions in this legislation is the result of the historic preservation community’s sustained and successful advocacy over many years.
We must now focus on making sure similar provisions are included in future infrastructure or other economic relief legislation. Inclusion of HTC provisions will bolster community revitalization and job creation efforts, better promote affordable housing in historic buildings, and create long overdue efficiencies to the program.
Take action by reaching out to your elected representatives and let them know how the changes proposed in H.R. 2 will benefit your community. Share with them specific rehabilitation projects that would benefit from a temporary boost to the HTC. Urge your Senators and Representatives to include similar provisions in any forthcoming COVID-19 or infrastructure legislation.