Democrats want landmark tax credit in Build Back Better bill

Over 4,000 advocates for preservation, historic rehabilitation and community development sent a signed letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) , to President Ron Wyden (D-OR) and President Richard Neal (D-MA), urging that the Historic Tax Credit (HTC) improvements be reinstated into President Joe Biden’s infrastructure program, known as Bill’s name Build Back Better.

The letter, organized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation with the Historic Tax Credit Coalition, Preservation Action, the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, the National Housing and Rehabilitation Association, and the National Preservation Partners Network, describes HTC’s track record. as a key revitalization tool for cities and towns across the country and calls on Congressional leaders to build on this success by updating and modernizing credit.

“This letter demonstrates the breadth and depth of support for the historic federal tax credit across the country,” said Paul Edmondson, President and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “As the largest federal investment in our country’s historic infrastructure, credit has become an essential tool in preserving the character and heritage of our communities by encouraging and leveraging private investment. The proposed credit improvements, which have not been revised since the 1980s, will allow more rehabilitation of buildings in large cities as well as in small towns, making it even more valuable and efficient.

“The historic tax credit is an essential tool for neighborhood revitalization, helping reinvigorate dormant community assets for current community needs. Funding for the adaptive reuse of historic properties also enables the ultimate recycling of existing buildings while providing capital for climate-friendly improvements, ”said Merrill Hoopengardner, Chairman of the Historic Tax Credit Coalition and Chairman of National Trust Community Investment Corp .

“Every day across the country, state history preservers review historic tax credit projects and work with applicants to see their projects complete the process with the National Park Service,” said Erik Hein, executive director of the National Conference of State History Preservers. . “They are seeing firsthand how credit brings deteriorating historic properties back to life into affordable housing, businesses and creative spaces. The proposed changes would provide better access to this powerful incentive for small projects and communities nationwide. ”

“The historic tax credit is a vital economic development tool that breathes new life into communities across the country, often turning aging sites into assets such as affordable housing,” said Thom Amdur, President of National Housing and Rehabilitation Association. “Part of ‘Build Back Better’ is preserving and enhancing our country’s historic places and encouraging the reuse of buildings to mitigate the impact of climate change; the historic tax credit serves precisely this purpose and must be included in the law on budget reconciliation.

“For more than 40 years, the historic tax credit has helped revitalize communities across the country by taking advantage of an often overlooked part of our country’s infrastructure – historic buildings,” said Russ Carnahan, President of Preservation Action, a grassroots national conservation lobby. “Now more than ever, it is important to update this incentive to support economic revitalization and job creation, sustainable and climate-friendly development and the preservation of our historic resources. This letter demonstrates the collective reach and impact of this vital incentive across the country.

“On Main Street, the historic tax credit allows communities to prioritize existing local assets over landfills. The proposed improvements expand this opportunity to give a second life to more buildings and more communities a sustainable choice for development, ”said Patrice Frey, president and CEO of Main Street America, a National Main Street program. Center.

“The members of our organization – who are spread across the country in communities large and small, urban and rural, and with economies across the spectrum of scale and success, consistently and wholeheartedly urge support for efforts to improve the historic federal tax credit. We are in the trenches and have each personally experienced both the power of this incentive and the challenges it faces in today’s climate, ”said Nicholas A. Redding, President of the National Preservation Partners Network and Executive Director of Preservation Maryland. . “This is a proven tool for growing the country’s economy, creating homes and revitalizing communities. It puts people to work and catalyzes private investment. It works and will work better if the improvements are part of Build Back Better.

In September, the House Ways and Means Committee passed six steps to improve the HTC as part of its budget reconciliation recommendations. The provisions are similar to those included in the Historic Tax Credit Growth and Opportunity Act (S. 2266 / HR 2294), bipartite legislation introduced by Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Darin LaHood (R-IL), Terri Sewell (D-AL) and Brian Higgins (D-NY) in the House and Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Susan Collins (R-ME ) in the Senate.

The provisions will make long-awaited improvements to the HTC, spur more rehabilitation activity, increase the number of historic buildings eligible for the HTC, and help create more affordable housing.

Leading voices for climate action indicate that reusing buildings is an important strategy to tackle the adverse effects of climate change. The reuse, adaptation and rehabilitation of historic buildings preserve incorporated carbon, reduce toxic waste and minimize pollution from both shipping and damage from natural resource extraction. Historic rehabilitation is also redirecting development pressure to denser areas, using our existing infrastructure and creating more transit opportunities and more pedestrian communities. Attached is a summary of the background to the historic tax credit and a description of the improvements that should be included in current infrastructure legislation.

Link to signed letter sent to Capitol Hill: