Preservation Issues

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

October 2017
Time is Running out for the Historic Tax Credit

The Conservancy has reached out to Republican members of the New York State delegation of House of Representatives, asking them to save the Federal Historic Tax Credit (HTC). Last week the House took a big step towards eliminating the HTC when the Republican majority passed a budget that clears the way for sweeping changes to the tax code. Leaders are set to announce details of the proposal November 1, and they are expected to wipe out the country’s largest financial incentive for preservation.

Now we’re asking you to join us.
The Republican majority will be making the final decisions. Contact New York’s Republican Representatives and let them know that the Historic Tax Credit is important to you and to New York.

The New York’s Republicans are: Rep. Lee M. Zeldin, Rep. Peter King, Rep. Daniel Donovan, Rep. John Faso, Rep. Elise M. Stefanik, Rep. Claudia Tenney, Rep. Tom Reed, Rep. John M. Katko, and Rep. Chris Collins
(Most Representatives only accept emails from their own constituents – if you can’t email, please call their Washington and local offices).

For 35 years, the Historic Tax Credit has been an effective economic engine that creates skilled jobs, encourages private investment, and revitalizes communities. It’s also efficient, returning more to the Treasury than it costs: the Treasury receives $1.20‐1.25 in tax revenue for every dollar invested. According to a study commissioned by the National Park Service $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). Since it launched in 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.

The HTC has been especially valuable for New York. It has spurred millions of dollars in investment state-wide and inspired New York’s own state preservation tax credit. Projects range from the renovation of the Kings Theatre, to the re-use of Keramos Hall in Greenpoint, to the redevelopment of affordable housing at the Randolph Houses in Harlem. 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 (see tax credit map).

Last year, New York led the nation in the number of completed tax credit projects (New York State List).

The HTC is the best and strongest economic incentive for preservation in the United States and in New York. Please contact your Representatives and let them know that we cannot afford to lose the Historic Tax Credit.

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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.