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.
We follow the activities of selected bills during legislative sessions and will keep you posted on the status of bills we are watching. Check back here often!
We strive to keep our membership, supporters and the public informed of timely issues through the monthly e-newsletter, special notices, social media and direct contact with a grassroots network of individuals and organizations.
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Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credit
Help advocate for the improvement of the federal historic tax credit for smaller projects!
Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) just introduced the Senate version of the Historic Tax Credit Growth and Opportunity Act (HTC-GO, S. 2615).
Similar to the House version (H.R 2825) of the HTC-GO Act, the Senate legislation would bring more value to Historic Tax Credit projects, improve access to the credit, and encourage investment in smaller rehabilitation projects.
The HTC Growth and Opportunity Act would increase the credit from 20% to 30% for rehabilitation projects under $2.5 million. This would make the credit more appealing for investment and improve access for smaller projects. Additionally, the bill would eliminate the tax credit basis adjustment requirement, which would increase the value of the credit. This change would bring the HTC more in line with the other tax credit programs and help restore some of the value lost by changes made during tax reform.
The HTC-GO Act was referred to the Finance Committee in the Senate. There could be opportunities for provisions from the bill to be included as part of a year-end funding deal, but we need your help. It is critical that we demonstrate strong/bipartisan support for the HTC-GO.
Pennsylvania Historic preservation 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.
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.
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.