Advocacy Alerts

 Federal Preservation Tax Credit Projects in PA

UPDATE 12/3/17

 This update from the National Trust for Historic Preservation
Early Saturday morning on December 2nd, the Senate passed its version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by a largely party-line 51-49 vote. The bill will now head to a Conference Committee where the House and Senate will spend either days or the next several weeks resolving differences between the respective proposals.

As a result of strong advocacy from around the country, the Senate bill includes a restored 20 percent historic tax credit (HTC) payable over five years. This is an impressive achievement given the House bill completely repeals the HTC and the initial Senate legislation proposed to reduce the program by half. Through the leadership of several Senators—particularly Senator Cassidy (R-LA)—the historic tax credit is well-positioned heading into the final stages of the tax reform debate.

Despite vigorous advocacy and interest by several Senators to fully restore the HTC provisions, the opportunity to make those changes in the final Senate bill did not manifest. As the tax reform process advances, the National Trust and its partners will continue to look for opportunities—either in the current bill or subsequent tax legislation—to further strengthen the HTC provisions.

In the meantime, it is important the preservation community continue its outreach to their Congressional delegations as the tax reform Conference Committee assembles the final tax reform legislation. Urge members to support the Senate historic tax credit provisions. 

UPDATE 11/17/17

This update just in from the National Trust
The effort to preserve the historic tax credit (HTC) took a critical step forward in the U.S. Senate Finance Committee last night, as tax legislation continues to advance through Congress. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., succeeded in increasing the HTC back to 20 percent from the 10 percent level in the initial Senate proposal when the Finance Committee included his pro-growth amendment in the legislation it approved. Read the full statement from Stephanie K. Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Tax reform is moving fast in both the House and Senate, and advocates for historic preservation need to weigh in! The most significant federal investment in preservation, the HTC, is at stake.

Despite vigorous advocacy by Republicans and Democrats in both chambers, the HTC was not incorporated into the House tax reform bill during the mark-up process. On the Senate side, the Finance Committee acted last night to retain the HTC but reduce it from 20 to 10 percent of qualifying rehabilitation expenditures and eliminate entirely the 10 percent credit for non-historic buildings built before 1936.

We need to redouble our efforts to spread the message that the HTC is a program we cannot afford to lose—or weaken. Next week, the House intends to take its bill to the floor for a full vote, while the Senate Finance Committee hopes to mark up its version and get it ready for floor action. We must not miss an opportunity to encourage the full retention of the HTC. Now is our chance. Let’s get to work.

Join us in calling on your members of Congress with the message that the HTC should be restored to its existing, undiminished levels in a reformed tax code. 

 UPDATE 11/16/17

This update just in from the National Trust
Senate Finance Committee Member Proposes Increase of HTC to 20% with Change in Credit Delivery Timing
Full-House Vote on Tax Reform Bill Expected Thursday 11/16

As the Senate Finance Committee prepared to begin its consideration of the tax reform bill, Senator Cassidy (LA) filed an amendment on Sunday to restore the Historic Tax Credit from 10% to 20% of qualified rehabilitation expenditures for historic buildings. As a cost savings measure, the amendment changes the Historic Tax Credit to be earned in installments. Instead of the current law which provides that 100% of the credit is earned at placement in service, this new provision would stage the credit delivery out over five years: 1/5th (or 4%) per year for a total of 20%. Senators Isakson (GA), Grassley (IA), Roberts (KS), and Scott (SC) co-sponsored this amendment.

The Senate Finance Committee continues to consider the amendments that were filed on Sunday and advocates are hopeful that this amendment will be included in the bill later this week either by the Chairman adding the amendment as a manager’s amendment or through an actual vote.

There is recognition that this change reduces the value of the credit compared to current law, but industry leaders and advocates view this as significant improvement compared to the starting point of full repeal in the House bill only two weeks ago and the 10% credit amount that is in the current Senate bill.

To solidify this positive improvement and set the stage for further enhancements, we encourage constituents to thank Senator Cassidy and the co-sponsors of the amendment (Senators Isakson, Grassley, Roberts, and Scott) or encourage other Republican Senate Finance Committee members to adopt the amendment which will restore the HTC from 10% to 20%.

The HTC Campaign cannot emphasize strongly enough that an effort to ask members of the Committee to undertake efforts to change the Cassidy amendment or other issues related to the HTC (such as possible transition rules) will imperil the progress that thousands of advocates have achieved at the committee level. Full restoration is a step by step process and there will be opportunity to bring up full restoration to current law, once this change to 20% has been adopted, passed through committee, and the bill is on the Senate floor after Thanksgiving.
The House is set to consider the tax reform bill on the House floor on Thursday. With House Republicans highly motivated for a legislative win, we anticipate that most Members will vote in support of the bill, even those who have been supporting our efforts to reinstate the HTC in the final version.

Despite this likely outcome, House members will still have an opportunity to voice their continuing support of the HTC and influence its inclusion when the House and Senate negotiate the final tax package. It is important that you voice your concern with your House member as the House votes on tax reform and encourage them to continue beyond this vote to work with House leadership to reconcile difference in the House and Senate versions of the bill.

How Can You Take Action?

As a constituent of PA Toomey (PA), please reach out and say “Please support the Cassidy (LA) amendment to increase the Historic Tax Credit from 10% to 20%.”

Please use the web portal so your messages go directly to the appropriate staff  in charge of managing correspondence while the bill is being considered in the Committee.

Toomey, Patrick J. - (R - PA)
248 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4254

Other Requested Advocacy

Contact House and Senate Members - Call (during office hours) the offices of your Members of Congress. Ask to speak to tax staff, your staff contacts in offices or ask for email addresses of tax staff.

Off Committee Senate Republicans
- Please continue to contact following Republican Senators who are not on the Senate Finance Committee: Alexander (TN), Barrasso (WY), Blunt (MO), Boozman (AR), Capito (WV), Cochran (MS), Collins (ME), Corker (TN), Cotton (AR), Cruz (TX), Daines (MT), Fischer (NE), Flake (AZ), Gardner (CO), Graham (SC), Hoeven (ND), Inhofe (OK), Johnson (WI), Kennedy (LA), Lankford (OK), Lee (UT), McCain (AZ), McConnell (KY), Moran (KS), Murkowski (AK), Paul (KY), Perdue (GA), Risch (ID), Rounds (SD), Rubio (FL), Sasse (NE), Shelby (AL), Strange (AL), Sullivan (AK), Tillis (NC), Wicker (NC), Young (IN)

Ask these Senators to “Please retain the Historic Tax Credit in the Senate Tax Reform Bill, undiminished.” Explain why you value the HTC and share past and future projects.  Find Senators contact information:

- Please contact your House Representative and ask them to “work with House leadership to insert the Historic Tax Credit back into the final House bill or the final tax package that reconciles the House and Senate bills.” Explain why you value the HTC and let them know of past and future projects.  Find your House Rep:
It is extremely important to keep all Capitol Hill communication constructive and respectful.

Advocacy Resources

· Talking points

· Tax Credit Tool kit
- State and congressional district maps with economic impact data

· Interactive HTC mapping tool developed by Novogradac and Company

Advocates Should Focus on Preserving the HTC not influencing the Transition Rules

While both the House and Senate transition rules have been described as both stingy and unclear, advocates should direct 100% of their advocacy to preserving the credit in the House and Senate. Should the need arise, there will be opportunities at the final stages of the legislative process to negotiate favorable transition rules. Now is not that time. Such actions could extinguish momentum advocates are gaining to retain the HTC in tax reform. There is a very good chance the Senate bill passed out of committee will incorporate a robust HTC, and there is still opportunity for the HTC to be added back in the House bill.

Have you been involved in a great tax credit project?

In Pennsylvania, a total of 613 Federal Historic Tax Credit projects
received Part 3 certifications from the National Park Service
between fiscal year 2002 through 2016,
resulting in over $3 billion in total development.

For the latest developments on national issues related to historic preservation, please go to:
Preservation Action's website at

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