Preservation Issues

PRESERVATION ALERT: We Need Your Help to Support the Historic Tax Credit

September 2017

We need your help to save the Federal Historic Tax Credit (HTC), the country’s largest financial incentive for preservation. The tax credit, which has spurred millions of dollars in investment in New York and inspired the State to institute its own much-used preservation tax credit could be eliminated as Congress takes up tax reform. The Trump Administration’s framework for tax cuts envisions repeal of all business credits except those for Research and Development and low-income housing. The HTC is often paired with the low-income housing credits to restore and reuse buildings such as the Randolph Houses in Harlem, which was repaired after decades of neglect and now has 168 affordable housing units. These buildings would be lost without the Historic Tax Credit.

The Conservancy joined some 1,500 preservation and business groups signing a letter to the House and Senate leadership. It noted that since 1981, the credit has leveraged more than $131 billion in private investment, created more than 2.4 million jobs, and adapted more than 42,000 historic buildings for new and productive uses. Tax-writing Congressional committees have discretion and there is strong support for the HTC in the New York delegation.

Three members of the New York delegation are on the House Ways and Means Committee: Joseph Crowley, Brian Higgins, and Tom Reed. They need to hear from you.

If your legislator is not on the Committee, urge them to communicate their support for the HTC to their colleagues who do serve on the tax writing committees. Click here for a list of the full NYS delegation.

Explain to your legislators that Congress should retain and enhance the Historic Tax Credit because it sustains a skilled-jobs industry, encourages private investment in historic properties, and preserves our nation’s unique heritage. From 2002 to 2016, 491 Federal Historic Tax Credit projects in New York State received final certifications, resulting in over $4 billion in total development. (view tax credit map)

In addition to revitalizing communities and spurring economic growth, the HTC returns more to the Treasury than it costs. In fact, Treasury receives $1.20‐1.25 in tax revenue for every dollar invested. According to a study commissioned by the National Park Service, since inception, $25.2 billion in federal tax credits have generated more than $29.8 billion in federal tax revenue from historic rehabilitation projects. (view fact sheet)

As the Conservancy’s 2016 ground-breaking report shows, preservation creates jobs, encourages tourism, and supports sustainability. (link to report) The Federal Historic Tax Credit, paired with New York’s own tax credit program is one of the best ways to make that happen. We can’t afford to lose it. Please contact your legislators now to tell them to save the Historic Tax Credit.