Landmark Historic Preservation Study Describes the Economic Impact of the Federal Historic Tax Credit Across Montana

A recent study released by the Montana Preservation Alliance and the National Trust for Historic Preservation describes how the federal historic tax credit has catalyzed the reuse of vacant or underutilized buildings to help Montana communities preserve their heritage while creating jobs and spurring economic development.

The report entitled, “Montana: Creating Jobs, Building Communities, Preserving Heritage” is the first comprehensive analysis of the economic impact of the federal historic tax credit (HTC) in Montana. The report documents that 62 revitalization projects since 1990 have leveraged $9.8 million in federal credits to create $59 million of new investment and create 1,140 jobs.  The study also highlights several iconic buildings such as the Electric Building and Babcock Theater in Billings, Butte’s Historic Sears Building and the Grand Union Hotel in Fort Benton which contribute to the economic vitality and historic fabric of Montana communities. 

“Preservation tax credits have helped to transform communities across Montana, catalyzing building projects, breathing new life into struggling downtowns and creating well-paying construction jobs in the process,” said Chere Jiusto, executive director of the Montana Preservation Alliance. “With strong historic tax credits in place, the future is bright for Montana’s cities and small towns.” 

Since its inception, the HTC has saved 38,000 places nationwide while creating more than 2.35 million jobs, attracting $106 billion in private investment and more than paying for itself.  In February 2012, the National Trust launched a multi-year campaign to educate the public and decision makers about the HTC’s proven track record to preserve our heritage while revitalizing communities and creating jobs.  

Montana leadership was duly impressed with report results, and recognized that historic preservation is an important component of the state's economy.  Governor Steve Bullock said that the report “…confirms what Montanans have long known - that preserving historic buildings keeps our downtowns vibrant, creates good jobs and provides a setting for hometown businesses to thrive and grow."

“Revitalizing Montana’s historic buildings improves our communities through new investment and good-paying jobs,” agreed Senator Max Baucus.  “This study is a sign that supporting our Main Streets today is a wise investment that supports jobs in the construction phase and helps recharge new business for the long haul.” 

For more information about the “Montana: Creating Jobs, Building Communities, Preserving Heritage” of the federal HTC, visit the website of the Montana Preservation Alliance at

Montana Preservation Alliance

The Montana Preservation Alliance is a statewide nonprofit that saves and protects Montana’s historic places, traditional landscapes and cultural heritage. We work on behalf of all Montanans, preserving the best of our past for the future.

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Patty Dean, Montana Preservation Alliance


Rebecca Morgan, National Trust for Historic Preservation 










The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places., @SavingPlaces