Early in the morning of Saturday, December 2, the Senate passed its version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by a largely party-line 51-49 vote. The bill will now head to a Conference Committee next week where the House and Senate will spend either days or the next several weeks resolving differences between the respective proposals.
As a result of strong advocacy from around the country, the Senate bill includes a restored 20 percent historic tax credit (HTC) payable over five years. This is an impressive achievement, given the House bill completely repeals the HTC and the initial Senate legislation proposed to reduce the program by half. Through the leadership of several Senators—particularly Senator Cassidy (R-La.)—the historic tax credit is well-positioned heading into the final stages of the tax reform debate.
Despite vigorous advocacy and interest by several Senators to fully restore the HTC provisions, the opportunity to make those changes in the final Senate bill did not manifest. As the tax reform process advances, the National Trust and our partners will continue to look for opportunities—either in the current bill or subsequent tax legislation—to further strengthen the HTC provisions.
In the meantime, it is important the preservation community continue to urge their Congressional delegations to support the Senate historic tax credit provisions as the tax reform Conference Committee assembles the final tax reform legislation.