Update (11/17/2017): The effort to preserve the historic tax credit (HTC) took a critical step forward in the U.S. Senate Finance Committee last night, as tax legislation continues to advance through Congress. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., succeeded in increasing the HTC back to 20 percent from the 10 percent level in the initial Senate proposal when the Finance Committee included his pro-growth amendment in the legislation it approved. Read the full statement from Stephanie K. Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation..
Tax reform is moving fast in both the House and Senate, and advocates for historic preservation need to weigh in! The most significant federal investment in preservation, the HTC, is at stake.
Despite vigorous advocacy by Republicans and Democrats in both chambers, the HTC was not incorporated into the House tax reform bill during the mark-up process. On the Senate side, the Finance Committee acted last night to retain the HTC but reduce it from 20 to 10 percent of qualifying rehabilitation expenditures and eliminate entirely the 10 percent credit for non-historic buildings built before 1936.
We need to redouble our efforts to spread the message that the HTC is a program we cannot afford to lose—or weaken. Next week, the House intends to take its bill to the floor for a full vote, while the Senate Finance Committee hopes to mark up its version and get it ready for floor action. We must not miss an opportunity to encourage the full retention of the HTC. Now is our chance. Let’s get to work.
Join us in calling your members of Congress with the message that the HTC should be restored to its existing, undiminished levels in a reformed tax code.
As reported this week in newspapers and journals, and expressed by advocates like you in all corners of the country, this longstanding preservation incentive works. It serves to revitalize our communities and stimulate local economies while preserving our heritage. Let’s keep the drumbeat going!
Shaw Sprague is the senior director for Government Relations and Policy at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.