JUNE 15, 2018

Action Alert: Bill to Strengthen the Historic Tax Credit Introduced in House and Senate
Preservation Action President, Russ Carnahan, and Preservation Action Board Chair, Marsh Davis with Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) during Advocacy Week 2018.
Legislation was introduced in the House and Senate aimed at strengthening the Historic Tax Credit (HTC). The Historic Tax Credit Enhancement Act (H.R 6081, S. 3058) would eliminate the basis adjustment requirement on HTC transactions. This change would put the HTC more in line with the Low Income Housing Tax Credit and enhance the value of the HTC investments, while still maintaining most of the cost savings from the changes made during tax reform. The bill has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee. Last year's tax reform bill, while it maintained the 20% HTC, called for the credit to be phased in over 5 years. The impact of this change is it reduces the overall effectiveness of the program. The Historic Tax Credit Enhancement Act would recapture some of that lost value. 

The bill was introduced by Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) in the House and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) in the Senate, with cosponsors including Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Sherrod Brown and Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA). Thank you to these members for once again championing the Historic Tax Credit. The bill's sponsors believe their could be an opportunity to attach this language to a larger legislative package, thus it's critical for the HTC Enhancement Act to be in the best position possible.

Call to Action

We need your help! Urge your U.S Representative and U.S Senators to cosponsor the Historic Tax Credit Enhancement Act. 

Reach out to your staff contacts or call your members office and ask to speak to the staff member handling tax issues. You can also call the capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to your members' DC office.

Check out the announcement from the National Trust Community Investment Corporation for talking points and for more information about how you can help.
Senate Appropriations Committee Approves FY19 Interior Appropriations Bill With Bipartisan Support

This week the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY19 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill by unanimous consent, sending the bill to the full Senate. This marks the first time since 2010 that Interior appropriations bill passed the committee with unanimous consent. The bill funds the Historic Preservation Fund at $88.91 million, $8 million below last year's historic levels of funding, but significantly above the Trump Administration's request. The full breakdown of HPF funding is below.

SHPOs: $48.925M, equal to FY18 levels 
THPOs: $11.485M, equal to FY18 levels
Civil Rights grants: $13M, equal to FY18 levels
HBCU Grant Program: $5M, equal to FY18 levels
National, State and Local Significance grants: $5M, equal to FY18 levels.
SAT grants: $5M, $8M below FY18 levels
Underrepresented Communities Grants: $500k, equal to FY18 levels

The House Interior Appropriations Bill that passed committee last week includes $91.91 million for the HPF, maintaining FY18's level of $13 million for the Save America's Treasures program, but eliminating funding for the National, State and Local significance grant program. Both bills will now be considered by the full House and full Senate. Preservation Action advocated for target increases to the Historic Preservation Fund during National Preservation Advocacy Week and joined partner organizations in submitting letters to appropriators in support of the Historic Preservation Fund. We thank the committee members for largely rejecting the cuts proposed by the Administration that would have had a devastating impact on historic preservation across the country.
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Theme Study Released
This past May, in addition to being National Preservation Month, was Asian American and Pacific Islander (APIA) Heritage Month. Coinciding with APIA Month, the National Park Service released the "Finding a Path Forward: Asian American Pacific Islander National Historic Landmarks Theme Study". The study includes 18 chapters of peer reviewed essays written by experts in APIA studies.

NPS theme studies help to identify and nominate nationally significant properties related to a specific area of American history, as National Historic Landmarks. This theme study is an important step in educating people on the contributions of the APIA community to our nation's history and protecting historic places associated with that history. 

To learn more about protecting historic places and cultural resources significant to Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, check out our partners at Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in Historic Preservation (APIAHIP). You can also read the complete APIA Heritage Theme Study on the NPS website.

Preservation Action
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Preservation Action is the only national  non-profit dedicated exclusively to lobbying for the best preservation policies at the federal level. We seek to make historic preservation a national priority by advocating to all branches of government through a grassroots constituency empowered with information and training.