FY 2017 Annual Report on the Economic Impact of Historic Tax Credits continues to support merits of the program

The National Park Service and Rutgers University have released the Annual Report on the Economic Impact of Historic Tax Credits for FY 2017. Once again, the findings show the strength of the federal historic tax credit program in stimulating investment and communities and job creation.

One of the strengths of this report is the quantification of economic impacts from state to state and across sectors. For both the year in review and the cumulative statistics of the program over a five-year period, we are able to evaluate and make conjectures on how the federal and state historic tax credit programs are at work across the country.

The state of New York, for example, is leading the country in jobs created and tax impacts at the local, state, and federal level. Why might this be?

“New York continues to trend up due to a number of factors, the greatest one being a strong state tax credit program with a reasonable cap and piggy backing on the federal credit,” says MHA Partner, Albert Rex. “For several years, the fact that the state credit could not be bifurcated from the federal credit made it difficult to use it even with a healthy $5 million per project cap.” 

A recent change in the rules now allows for the state credit to be taken as a refund and has helped create more value in the credit. Additionally, the program being census-based with a focus on areas at 100% area median income may have been a deterrent as the economy rebounded, but with economic recovery in full swing, development is happening in cities across the Empire State.

But New York of course isn’t the only state that is demonstrating the strong economic impact of historic tax credits. Rounding out the top five states for strongest economic and tax impacts are Ohio, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Louisiana with a great many others not far behind.

It is also worth noting that those states that showed little impacts either do not have or have severely limited state historic tax credit programs. States like New Jersey rank low here, but may see great improvement if a proposed and popular program is passed in the coming session.

Find links to past NPS federal HTC Annual Reports and Economic Impact studies here.