Statement | Washington, DC | December 20, 2017

Congress Retains Essential Historic Preservation Tax Credit Tool with more than 30-Year Track Record of 'Economic Good Sense'

Statement by Stephanie K. Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation

Today, the House joined the Senate to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1). This major tax legislation will now go to President Trump’s desk, where he is expected to sign it without delay. The following is a statement from Stephanie K. Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation:

“The National Trust for Historic Preservation commends Congress for retaining a common-sense tool that has done so much to draw public and private investment to the historic fabric of our nation and to create local jobs. The inclusion of the historic tax credit as part of the most expansive overhaul of our nation’s tax code in more than three decades is a reaffirmation that reviving older and historic buildings is sound federal policy and good for the nation.

“We heartily thank the many preservationists and other stakeholders who worked countless hours with us to ensure that this critical preservation tool remained a pillar of federal historic preservation policy.

“We are particularly grateful to Senator Cassidy (R-LA) for offering the amendment that restored the historic tax credit to 20 percent in the Senate version of the tax bill, and recognize Senators Grassley (R-IA), Roberts (R-KS), Isakson (R-GA), and Scott (R-NC) for their leadership on this critical amendment as well. On the House side, the efforts of Representatives McKinley (R-WV), Blum (R-IA), and Westerman (R-AR) were essential to the successful retention of the historic tax credit.”


The final version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) passed by Congress keeps the historic tax credit at 20 percent but requires that the credit be taken over five years instead of all at once at the time of project completion. The legislation repeals the 10 percent rehabilitation tax credit for non-historic buildings. Despite vigorous advocacy to keep the Historic Tax Credits intact, this outcome reflects the widespread support for preserving our historic buildings from stakeholders across the country and bold leadership by preservation leaders in Congress. Senate champions also included Senators Cardin (D-MD), Collins (R-ME), and Portman (R-OH). House champions included Reps. Kelly (R-PA), Blumenauer (D-OR), and Turner (R-OH).


For more than three decades, the federal Historic Tax Credit (HTC) has successfully implemented a national policy of preserving our historic resources. It is the most significant investment the federal government makes toward the preservation of our historic buildings. Since 1981, the credit has leveraged more than $131 billion in private investment, created more than 2.4 million jobs, and preserved more than 42,000 historic buildings that form the fabric of our nation. Watch this short video of President Reagan’s own words here:


The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places. | @savingplaces

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