On the Hill: New Opportunity to Protect the Federal Historic Tax Credit

By Renee Kuhlman posted 05-15-2017 11:49


In the last month there has been some momentum on the Hill with regard to tax reform. Here’s a quick recap of the events and a short guide to showing your support for the federal HTC—including a new opportunity.

Credit: Architect of the Capitol

  • In late April Republican members of the House Ways and Means Committee participated in a retreat. Sources have confided that the committee members did not “drill down” and talk about specific tax credits but instead sought to find common ground on several outstanding questions that must be resolved before tax legislation can move forward.
  • The momentum for tax reform received another boost when the Trump administration released its “core principles” for tax reform on April 26. However, beyond “eliminate tax breaks for special interests,” the White House document provides few details about how the administration would pay for its proposed aggressive rate cuts and is silent about how it would treat specific community development credits. According to the administration, details about the scope and structure of tax reform will be forthcoming, but the window to complete tax reform appears to run between October 2017 and March 2018.
  • The legislative environment in Washington has intensified as the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act to replace the Affordable Care Act. While the legislation faces an uncertain future in the Senate, if enacted it could raise up to $1 trillion in baseline revenue, helping to partially offset reductions to the corporate tax rate. Even if the legislation falls short in the Senate, its passage in the House has created new momentum to tackle tax reform legislation. 

What Can You Do?

  1. New opportunity! Add your business or organization to the National Trust’s sign-on letter. Ask other organizations and businesses to do the same. Our goal is to create a robust letter that attests to the large number of diverse businesses and organizations working to revitalize the nation’s historic communities. The last sign-on letter asking congressional leaders to protect the federal HTC garnered support from more than 600 organizations and businesses across the country.
  2. Join us for a webinar on Thursday, May 18, at 2:00 p.m. EST to hear the National Trust Government Relations staff share the latest about the campaign to protect the HTC, the effort to protect the Antiquities Act, and the outlook for preservation priorities funding—including the potential infrastructure package. Register to participate in this free policy briefing. 
  1. Urge co-sponsorship of the Historic Tax Credit Improvement Act. See which members of Congress have cosponsored the act, and customize this co-sponsorship request to your members
  1. Come to Washington, D.C., for Historic Tax Credit Lobby Day on June 14. Advocacy on the Hill will precede the Institute for Professional and Executive Development Annual Historic Tax Credit Summit. National Trust campaign staff will help set up your meetings and provide you with educational materials. If you are interested in participating, please email Michael Phillips.
  1. Schedule in-district meetings and tours with members of Congress or their staff during congressional recesses. Showing members of Congress or their staff rehabilitation projects is one of the most effective ways to convey the value of the HTC. While these in-person meetings back home are invaluable, it can take weeks—even months—to set up them up. Keep the upcoming recess dates in mind, and act fast:
  • May 30–June 2
  • July 3–July 7
  • July 31–September 4—basically the entire month of August! 

We are happy help anyone who would like to set up in-district tours and meetings. For assistance, please email Mike Phillips, Shaw Sprague, or Renee Kuhlman.

Renee Kuhlman is the director of Special Projects, Government Relations, and Policy at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

#FederalHistoricTaxCredit #Economics #congress #Advocacy

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