On March 2, Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Historic Tax Credit Growth and Opportunity Act (HTC-GO) (S. 639).
The bill includes four permanent provisions that will add value to the federal historic tax credit (HTC) program, improve access to the credit, and increase investment in smaller rehabilitation projects.
Similar legislation was introduced in the House (H.R. 1785) by Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Brian Higgins (D-NY), Mike Kelly (R-PA), Darin LaHood (R-IL), Terri Sewell (D-AL), and Mike Turner (R-OH) on March 24.
The House bill also includes a temporary tax provision to address recent challenges facing rehabilitation projects.
The HTC has lost investment value over the past ten years due to multiple complex factors, including new IRS rulings, administrative burdens, changes in the credit structure, along with the changes of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The result is that the value of the tax credit investment has dropped 20-25%.
These issues, combined with rising interest rates and skyrocketing costs of materials and labor, have exacerbated financing challenges already present with these projects. Current National Park Service data shows that usage of the HTC is down 20%, for both FY22 and FY21, compared to 4 years ago.
Last Congress, HTC-GO attracted a record-setting 104 cosponsors in the House and 15 in the Senate. The National Trust is hopeful that with the significant base of support established in the 117th Congress, HTC legislation is in a strong position to advance.