Historic Tax Credits

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For more than three decades, the federal Historic Tax Credit has successfully implemented a national policy of preserving our historic resources and is the most significant investment the federal government makes toward the preservation of our historic buildings.

Despite a proven track record of stimulating economic growth and preserving our architectural heritage, the historic tax credit faces an uncertain future.  As pressure builds to reform the nation’s tax code, several influential tax reform proposals recommend a repeal of this essential credit.  The former Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Dave Camp, for example, introduced sweeping tax reform legislation in the 113th Congress that proposed to eliminate the historic tax credit.

In 2012, the National Trust, in collaboration with the National Trust Community Investment Corporation, and the Historic Tax Credit Coalition, recognized a fundamental need to develop a nation-wide effort to raise awareness and build support for the historic tax credit.  This multi-year initiative to preserve and enhance the federal historic tax credit presumes that Congressional tax writers will approach reforming the tax code as if it were a blank slate and that programs, like the historic tax credit, will need to demonstrate their value.

Demonstrating the value of the federal HTC program is not difficult to do.  It has been used to attract new private capital to the historic cores of cities and Main Streets across the nation. This investment has, in turn,  enhanced property values, created jobs, generated local, state and federal tax revenues, and revitalized communities.  Your voice is needed, however, to make sure the historic tax credit story is told and retold to decision makers in Washington if we are to ensure historic tax credit is enhanced in tax reform and not weakened or eliminated.

New research commissioned by the National Trust proves for the first time that the economic benefits of historic rehab go far beyond one building. Historic tax credit projects spur an increase in property values, draw new businsses, attract new residents and enlarge the tax base. Projects in Maryland, Georgia and Utah are profiled. Download The Federal Historic Tax Credit: Transforming Communities report.

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Fast Facts about the Historic Tax Credit

Over the life of the program, the historic rehabilitation tax credit (HTC) has:

    • created nearly 2.5 million good paying, local jobs;
    • leveraged more than $117 billion in private investment in our communities;
    • generated a significant return on investment for the federal government;
    • and preserved more than 40,000 buildings that form the historic fabric of our nation.

Advocacy Tools

These resources demonstrate how the HTC is a proven job creating, community revitalizing investment throughout the nation. Use them to help educate your elected officials at home and in Washington.