NATIONAL TRUST: TAX REFORM SHOULD RETAIN THE FEDERAL HISTORIC TAX CREDIT
Statement by Stephanie K. Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and John Leith-Tetrault, Chairman of the Historic Tax Credit Coalition
The Republican tax reform task force in the U.S. House of Representatives released a proposal for tax reform today. The following are statements from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Historic Tax Credit Coalition.
Stephanie K. Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation:
“The federal historic tax credit is our nation’s most significant private investment tool for revitalizing America’s historic communities. It has shown enormous value in redeveloping communities across the country and should remain in any re-write of the tax code.
“As President Ronald Reagan said in 1984, ‘our historic tax credits have made the preservation of our older buildings not only a matter of respect for beauty and history, but of course for economic good sense.’ Since Congress first made the credit permanent in 1986, it has continually garnered bipartisan support and maintained a track record of creating jobs and attracting community investment in rural and urban areas. By encouraging developers to invest in historic buildings, the historic tax credit draws crucial private investment to former schools, factories, and theatres—injecting new vitality into our historic neighborhoods and local economies nationwide. Eliminating the historic tax credit takes away a key financing source for historic rehabilitation in every market and ultimately costs both the federal government and local communities money.”
John Leith-Tetrault, Chairman of the Historic Tax Credit Coalition:
“We hope as the Republican House Leadership moves from this blueprint to drafting a bill, it will continue to review the priorities of Ways and Means Committee Members and their constituents. Forty-two House Members and 16 Members of the Ways and Committee have co-sponsored HR 3846 which has provisions to modernize the Historic Tax Credit. A federal program that produces jobs, catalyzes community revitalization and pays for itself belongs in a reformed tax code.”
BACKGROUND ON THE HISTORIC TAX CREDIT
Since it was written into the tax code 38 years ago, the historic tax credit has been a widely used redevelopment tool for inner cities, towns, and rural communities across the country. It is the most significant investment the federal government makes to preserve our nation’s historic properties. Since its inception, the HTC has rehabilitated over 41,250 buildings, created over 2.3 million jobs and leveraged over $117 billion in private investment nationwide. On average the credit leverages about $4 of private investment for every $1 in federal credit. The cumulative $23.1 billion cost of this program has been more than offset by the over $28.1 billion in federal tax receipts generated solely by these rehabilitation projects.