Preservationists Applaud Mayor Walsh for his Leadership on Historic Tax Credits
Posted August 6, 2014 | Contact email@example.com or 202-588-6141
Washington – Mayor Martin J. Walsh of Boston has joined hundreds of preservationists, developers, and other allies in signing on to a letter to Congressional leaders in support of the federal historic tax credit. The following is a statement from Thomas J. Cassidy, Jr., vice president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
“Mayor Walsh’s vocal support of federal historic tax credits is a clear call to action to other elected officials to promote this vital preservation tool. As the mayor of one of America’s major cities, his engagement adds significant weight to our call to House leadership to preserve the historic tax credit during Congressional tax reform. While we recognize the need to streamline the tax code, it should not come at the cost of a proven program that drives job creation and generates more taxes than it costs the Treasury. This is tax policy that makes sense and is just the type of federal program Boston and our nation needs.
“Boston’s revitalized mills, theaters, factories and more are a key component to the city’s appeal as an attractive place to live, visit or locate a business. Without it, places like Baker Chocolate in Dorchester, the former Charles Street Jail and the theaters along Washington Street would still be underutilized, vacant or abandoned. Neighborhoods throughout Boston have benefited from the catalytic effect of these preservation projects and will continue to do so as long as the historic tax credit remains on the books.”
The Mayor’s support of the letter was strongly encouraged by the Boston Preservation Alliance. The letter urges House Ways & Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) to retain the historic tax credit during Congressional tax reform. It was written in response to a draft proposal by Chairman Camp that repeals the longstanding and successful federal tax incentive.
Mayor Walsh joins several members of the Massachusetts’ Congressional delegation in supporting the historic tax credit. Senator Ed Markey and Representatives Bill Keating, Jim McGovern, Richard Neal, John Tierney and Niki Tsongas are all past or present co-sponsors of legislation that improves the federal historic tax credit.
BACKGROUND ON THE FEDERAL HISTORIC TAX CREDIT
The federal historic tax credit was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1981 to spur the private sector’s investment in the rehabilitation of historic buildings. Since its inception, this powerful tool has generated $109 billion in private investment, created 2.4 million jobs, and adapted nearly 39,000 historic buildings for productive use. The federal historic tax credit continues to fulfill the federal public policy goal set forth in the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 of preserving the nation’s architectural heritage by rehabilitating historic structures that tell America’s story. In Boston alone, $206 million in federal credits between 2001 and 2013 leveraged projects totaling $1.2 billion in development costs---a ratio of $5.82 in private dollars for every $1 of tax credits.