National Park Service Releases Annual HTC Economic Report

November 25, 2020

The National Trust was pleased to again collaborate with the National Park Service in preparing the Annual Report on the Economic Impact of the Federal Historic Tax Credit for Fiscal Year 2019 in partnership with the Rutgers Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.

Released on November 9, the report documents the historic tax credit’s (HTC) ongoing positive impact for community reinvestment across the nation after more than four decades of use. According to the report, “the HTC has rehabilitated more than 45,000 historic properties, generated more than $188 billion in GDP and created 2.8 million jobs” since the incentive was put in place in 1978. Cumulatively, the HTC has generated more in tax receipts than the cost of the program, generating $38.1 billion in tax receipts compared to $32.9 billion in credits allocated.

Acting Director of the National Park Service, Margaret Everson, stated, “This is an incredible example of a federal/state partnership that continues to drive investments in historic preservation and revitalize communities across the country.”

The report demonstrates the broad scope of the 1,013 different property types that benefited from the HTC in FY 2019, including abandoned and underutilized school buildings, warehouses, factories, churches, retail stores, apartments, hotels, houses, agricultural buildings, offices, and other structures across the country. Other benefits of HTC investment include job creation, affordable housing creation, small business incubation, as well as Main Street and rural redevelopment.

In addition, the report documents that nearly half of all certified rehabilitation projects were located in low- and moderate-income areas and three-quarters of all projects were in economically distressed areas. The HTC also benefited smaller rehabilitations with 50% of all projects costing less than $1 million in qualified rehabilitation expenses (QREs) and 17% were under $250,000.

HTC investment was instrumental in smaller and rural communities with 25% of all certified rehabilitation projects being located in communities with a population under 50,000 people and 16% in communities with a population under 25,000 people.

Fiscal Year 2019 Highlights of the Historic Tax Credit

  • Rehabilitated new or existing housing units: 16,280
  • Low- and moderate-income housing units: 6,206
  • Total estimated rehabilitation investment (Qualified Rehabilitation Expenditures): $5.77 billion
  • Historic rehabilitation projects certified: 1,013
  • Estimated total jobs created: 109,000
  • Output (Goods and Services): $12.1 billion
  • Gross domestic product: $6.2 billion
  • Income created: $4.6 billion

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