In Preservation Pennsylvania's role as an advocate for historic preservation, we address matters of Commonwealth-wide concern, including state level legislation and policy affecting historic resources, as well as federal and local issues that have statewide implications. 

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Pennsylvania Historic preservation tax Credit

Preservation Pennsylvania serves as a statewide voice representing citizens advocating for preservation-friendly policies. Will you join your voice to the current effort to enhance and improve the Pennsylvania historic preservation tax credit?

Preservation Pennsylvania and the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia are collaborating to build the PA Historic Tax Credit Coalition, comprised of preservation non-profits, architects, developers, and other supporters from across the Commonwealth who want to raise the aggregate cap of the tax credit program.

The PA historic tax credit program is currently capped at only $5 million annually. This is a highly inadequate and noncompetitive amount that is the lowest of any neighboring states. It is fourth from the bottom among the 37 states with a historic tax credit.

Preservation Pennsylvania collaborated with legislators and worked hard to explain the benefits of the state preservation tax credit. As part of the budget package, the program was reauthorized one year ahead of its original sunset date. The program will now extend until 2031.

Read the  Executive Summary or Full Report: The Missing Key: A Study of the Impact and Potential of the Pennsylvania State Historic Tax Credit.

Pennsylvania's Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) reviews all state tax credits over a five-year period. Click here to access the IFO Historic Preservation Tax Credit Report, published in January 2019.

What's Changed

The new language incorporates several significant improvements over the current program including:

An increase in the annual allocation from $3 million to $5 million. (The per project cap remains at $500,000)
A 5% bump-up to 30% for Workforce Housing
Clarification on the timing of the application process and the awarding of credits
Clarification that the credit will not be subject to the provision in the federal program that the credit must be taken over 5 years.
Improved language and flexibility on the transfer of credits.
The requirement to collect data on completed projects that will assist in demonstrating the economic value of the credits.
Program extended to 2031.

While the small increase from $3 million to $5 million annually was much less than we had hoped, the improvements to the language and program have gotten us over some big hurdles. New guidelines will be developed by the Department of Community and Economic Development and the State Historic Preservation Office to incorporate the changes.

We thank you for everything you have done to help move this program forward. It is clear that your emails, phone calls, and visits did make a difference. Leadership allowed this language to be inserted into a budget bill and that is due in part to you letting your legislators know this this program is important.

We are declaring this a victory! Getting the program reauthorized a year ahead of schedule with significant improvements is no small feat. Let’s celebrate!

Our work is not done, however. In the fall, we will begin work to increase the annual allocation in the next budget cycle. Our tools and people are in place and YOU are part of that team.