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Credit Worthy News

House Tax Reform Legislation Eliminates Historic Tax Credit

Posted by Katherine Ferguson on Thursday, November 2, 2017

A day late, but nonetheless what we expected. The House tax reform bill released this morning does, in fact, eliminate the historic tax credit. This push for tax reform is still in early days and no doubt there will be many changes, maybe even the retention of the historic tax credit, but advocacy is still of the utmost importance. Perhaps now more than ever.

TAKE ACTION NOW

The release of the proposed legislation means that we now know what we are asking for: DO NOT REPEAL THE HISTORIC REHABILITATION TAX CREDIT. It means supporters of historic preservation and believers of economic prosperity driven by historic rehabilitations need to be very specific about what this program has to offer and what we stand to lose. Last year alone, over 1,000 historic rehabilitations were completed; 109,000 jobs were created; $1.7 billion federal, state, and local taxes were generated; and these projects generated $6.2 billion in GDP.

Over the lifetime of the program (1978-2016) these numbers are staggering:

  • 42,293 projects have been certified
  • 2.4 million + jobs have been created
  • $29.8 billion federal taxes have been generated for $25.2 billion credits allocated (that's a $1.20:$1 ratio that proves the program is revenue positive)
  • $144.9 billion has been contributed to GDP

These aggregate numbers are impressive. But it is also the unique placemaking that comes from the reuse of historic buildings in your very own communities that demonstrate the real value of the historic tax credit.

Why are these historic buildings important to you and your community? What positive change and economic development opportunities have you seen from these projects where you live, work, or play? In what state would these places and neighboring properties be without development that was incentivized by the historic tax credit? What projects will not get developed in the future without this incentive?

Consider these questions and take action now before it is too late. We still have a ways to go before the bill becomes law. But House and Senate Republicans are promising an aggressive approach to passage and we must take this very seriously. Losing our historic tax credit would change the landscape of future development in towns and cities across the country, making it more equitable to drastically alter or demolish our historic places. Once gone, we can never replace them.

The same can be said of the historic tax credit. Once gone, an effort to replace what is lost could have uncertain outcomes. We know what Gerald Ford's administration began and Ronald Reagan continued and supported works. We know that its foundation is strong and its bones are good. We know it should not be demolished.

Join us as we stand with the Historic Tax Credit Coalition and others throughout the country to support this historic tax credit. Your contribution of words and support could make all the difference.

Check out this list of important Republican legislators to contact today.

 

Topics: HTC, Historic Tax Credits, tax reform

President Reagan Supported the Historic Tax Credit. Do You?

Posted by Katherine Ferguson on Thursday, October 26, 2017

In 1984, Ronald Reagan was outspoken in his support of the historic tax credit. Today, the historic tax credit is in jeopardy. Just this morning, House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady announced the scheduled release of a House tax reform bill on Wednesday, November 1, and, as we understand it, the bill will NOT include the federal historic tax credit. 

The time is now to voice your support for the federal historic tax credit. As tax reform takes center stage in our nation's capital, the Historic Tax Credit Coalition, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and many other advocates of this important economic development and preservation tool are speaking up. Please join us!

Contact us with any questions you have about these or other historic tax credit matters. And stay tuned for more information and updates about federal HTC reform in the coming weeks.


Thank you!     
The MHA Team

Topics: Historic Tax Credits, tax reform

HTC Watch | Urgent Tax Reform News

Posted by Katherine Ferguson on Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Well. We wish we had better news.

Last Wednesday, the Republican leadership in Congress and the Administration released a Tax Reform framework that excluded the federal HTC. Regarding tax credits, the document said:

“The framework explicitly preserves business credits in two areas where tax incentives have proven to be effective in promoting policy goals important in the American economy: research and development (R&D) and low-income housing. While the framework envisions repeal of other business credits, the committees may decide to retain some other business credits to the extent budgetary limitations allow.”

Make no mistake, the exclusion of the historic tax credit in this preliminary language is concerning.

There is good news though. Advocates of the federal HTC still have time to work to preserve the credit. But for how long is unknown. It is imperative that those that are interested in saving the program make their voice heard now and reinforce the proof that the HTC is also effective in promoting policy goals as well as having a positive impact on the American economy by stimulating investment and increasing the tax base over time, creating jobs, and preserving historic resources.

The House Ways & Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee Republicans will be integral in the retention of the federal HTC in any tax reform proposals.

House Ways & Means Committee |

Kevin Brady, Texas's 8th, Chairman
Sam Johnson, Texas's 3rd
Devin Nunes, California's 22nd
Pat Tiberi, Ohio's 12th
Dave Reichert, Washington's 8th
Peter Roskam, Illinois's 6th
Vern Buchanan, Florida's 16th
Adrian Smith, Nebraska's 3rd
Lynn Jenkins, Kansas's 2nd
Erik Paulsen, Minnesota's 3rd
Kenny Marchant, Texas's 24th
Diane Black, Tennessee's 6th
Tom Reed, New York's 23rd
Mike Kelly, Pennsylvania's 3rd
Jim Renacci, Ohio's 16th
Pat Meehan, Pennsylvania's 7th
Kristi Noem, South Dakota's at-large
George Holding, North Carolina's 2nd
Jason T. Smith, Missouri's 8th
Tom Rice, South Carolina's 7th
David Schweikert, Arizona's 6th
Jackie Walorski, Indiana's 2nd
Carlos Curbelo, Florida's 26th
Mike Bishop, Michigan's 8th

Senate Finance Committee Republicans |

Orrin Hatch, Utah, Chairman
Chuck Grassley, Iowa
Mike Crapo, Idaho
Pat Roberts, Kansas
Mike Enzi, Wyoming
John Cornyn, Texas
John Thune, South Dakota
Richard Burr, North Carolina
Johnny Isakson, Georgia
Rob Portman, Ohio
Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania
Dean Heller, Nevada
Tim Scott, South Carolina
Bill Cassidy, Louisiana

 

If any of these elected officials are in your Congressional delegation, please seriously consider contacting them to register your support on this issue. If you are from other areas, we encourage you to voice your support as well. Here is how you can help today (and tomorrow, and the next day):

WRITE
The easiest way to advocate for the federal HTC is to work through the Historic Tax Credit Coalition. If you are able to contact any of the above committee members, please email Michael Phillips (mphillips@ntcic.com) at the Coalition. Based on your location, the Coalition team can send you the contact information for your federal legislators along with a form letter that you can cut, paste, and forward. Add a word about how you have witnessed the economic benefits of historic tax credits in your state.

(The National Trust for Historic Preservation has some good statistics and studies if you want to fortify your case.)

CALL
If you want to take it further, pick up the phone and use your voice. Tell your representatives why you support the historic tax credit. Ask that they represent you and your community when they consider any tax reform.

REPEAT
Already sent emails and called? Do it again. If you haven’t heard back from your outreach after three days, repeat your effort. 

Contact us with any questions you have about these or other historic tax credit matters. And stay tuned for more information and updates about federal HTC reform in the coming weeks.

Thank you!

Topics: Historic Tax Credits, tax reform

Presidential Policy & the Federal Historic Tax Credit

Posted by Katherine Ferguson on Thursday, February 23, 2017

Congress believes that the rehabilitation and preservation of historic structures and neighborhoods is an important national goal. Congress believes that the achievement of this goal is largely dependent upon whether private funds can be enlisted in the preservation movement.
- Tax Reform Act of 1976

A new president. An energized Congress. An aggressive approach to legislative reform. We have seen these themes dominate newspapers for the past month. In addition to the new administration, much has been made about legacies – that of the outgoing president and those of presidents past that are invoked for comparison’s sake.

President Trump and the 115th United States Congress have vowed to make tax reform a priority in 2017, and those paying attention will most assuredly draw comparisons between these efforts like the Tax Reform Act of 1986 that were overseen by the Reagan administration, a popular administration by which most Republican bodies benchmark policies and platforms.

For supporters of historic tax credits, these tax reforms were the birthplace of the current federal programs. Having originally been part of the Ford administration’s Tax Reform Act of 1976, early Reagan reform included the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit as part of the Economic Recovery Act of 1981.

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.
- President Ronald Reagan, 1984 

Permanent changes were made to the federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit in the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (the most extensive overhaul of the federal tax system since 1913) that reduced the income-producing credit from 25 percent to 20 percent while other real estate tax benefits were cut – a testament to the program’s value that was apparent to lawmakers. Those changes remain, 31 years later, as the basis for the program in its current form. 

Supporters of the federal historic tax credit are not just preservationists but also developers, investors, architects, local business owners, private citizens, government regulators, and elected officials – both Republican and Democrats. Architecture Magazine has called it a “model of governmental initiative” and the Internal Revenue Service in 2002 stated that the Historic Preservation Tax Incentives program “is the nation’s most effective Federal program to promote urban and rural revitalization and to encourage private investment in rehabilitating historic buildings.”

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The Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit | By the Numbers

  • Over 42,000 historic buildings have been rehabilitated
  • Over 2.3 million jobs have been created
  • Over $117 billion in private investment has stimulated local economies
  • On average, every $1 in federal credit yields $4 of private investment
  • For $23.1 billion in costs, the program has generated $28.1 billion in federal tax receipts.

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In short, the legacy and success of the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit is one that should be honored in upcoming tax reform. Sweeping change proposed by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) currently appears to eliminate altogether incentive programs like the historic tax credit. In addition, a reduction in the corporate tax rate could de-incentivize the program even if the program remained intact. While the primary goal of historic tax credits is to serve as an economic development tool, it is also as Reagan noted a matter of respect for beauty and history that is protected by an incentive that rewards good preservation.

(An argument can be made that is also a matter of sustainability. But a topic for another day.)

Topics: policy, federal HTC, tax reform