Key Opportunity to Strengthen the Federal Historic Tax Credit!

June 24, 2020

The historic tax credit (HTC) has a proven track record of kickstarting job creation and attracting private investment, while preserving tangible links to our past.

As Congress considers its ongoing response to the coronavirus pandemic and the need to stimulate economic activity, legislators must hear from the preservation community that the HTC is a proven economic recovery tool that should be strengthened and incorporated into legislation designed to revitalize our nation’s struggling communities.

On June 22nd, the House of Representatives released text of H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act, a comprehensive proposal designed to rebuild and invest in our nation’s infrastructure. The proposal incorporates community development provisions that support infrastructure financing, including several provisions that strengthen the historic tax credit (HTC).

The legislation would increase the HTC from 20 percent to 30 percent for all projects from 2020 through 2024, before gradually transitioning back to 20 percent by 2027. The House infrastructure bill also incorporates many of the provisions in the Historic Tax Credit Growth and Opportunity Act (H.R. 2825), including a permanent increase for smaller HTC projects to 30 percent, changes that will make it easier to satisfy the substantial rehabilitation test, elimination of the requirement that HTCs must be deducted from a building’s basis, and provisions that will make it easier for community development organizations and nonprofits to participate in the redevelopment process.

H.R. 2 would also extend deadlines to qualify for HTCs for projects already underway but delayed as a result of the pandemic. Finally, H.R. 2 would modify the definition of a qualified rehabilitation expense to enable rehabilitation of historic public schools. H.R. 2 proposes significantly strengthening the HTC and if enacted would bolster community revitalization and job creation efforts, better promote affordable housing in historic buildings, and create long overdue efficiencies to the program.

Join the National Trust for Historic Preservation in thanking your Representative for including HTC provisions in H.R. 2, and urge your Senators to similarly strengthen the Historic Tax Credit in a Senate infrastructure package or economic relief legislation.

Announcing the 2020 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

See the List