JUNE 01, 2018

The Department of Interior and the National Park Service Announce FY18 SHPO and THPO Grants

Department of Interior Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt speaking at Preservation Advocacy Week
This week the Department of Interior and the National Park Service announced the Fiscal Year 2018 grants for State and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices. The Omnibus spending package, passed in March, included $48.9 million for SHPOs and $11.4 million for THPOs, a $1 million increase each over FY17 levels. The timely release of these funds will allow for State an Tribal Historic Preservation Officers to better carry out their important work mandated by the National Historic Preservation Act.

"The National Park Service works closely with states and tribes to preserve our nation's diverse history and cultural heritage," National Park Service Deputy Director Dan Smith said. "These grants help promote historic preservation at the community level, including funding much needed restoration and maintenance to these special places."

SHPOs and THPOs are funded though the Historic Preservation Fund which uses Outer Continental Shelf oil lease revenue, not tax dollars.

Preservation Action advocated for increased funding for the Historic Preservation Fund during National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week and are pleased to see the timely release of these funds to support the critical work of SHPOs and THPOs across the country. 
A New Tool Allows You Analyze the NPS Deferred Maintenance Backlog by State, Park and Asset
A new tool from the Pew Charitable Trusts uses National Park Service (NPS) data from Fiscal Year 2016 and 2015 to breakdown the more than $11 billion NPS deferred maintenance backlog by type of asset, state and park. In FY16 $5.1 billion of the estimated $11.3 billion maintenance backlog was attributed to historic assets. These assets include historic homes, battlefields, cultural sites, and other places that help to tell our Nation's history.

You can use this tool to learn more about deferred maintenance at NPS sites across the county, in your state, and at your favorite park  including:
  • What types of infrastructure need repairs at each park site (such as buildings, roads, and trails).
  • Whether these repairs affect the park's transportation or historic assets.
  • The estimated cost of the repairs.
  • How NPS prioritizes deferred maintenance work.
For example, we found the District of Columbia has a deferred maintenance backlog of $1.2 billion, $1 billion of which attributed to historic assets. This can also be a great advocacy tool to show members of Congress the impact of the deferred maintenance backlog in their state and district. Check it out below.

West Virginia Already Seeing Benefits From Expanded State Historic Tax Credit
West Virginia is already seeing a dramatic increase in the number of applications for state historic tax credits, since the credit was expanded last year. This past October, West Virginia approved an expansion of their state Historic Tax Credit program from 10% to 25%. The West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office says they've already received the same number of applications thus far this year, that the office typically received in a full year previously. The historic preservation office said they also received an increased number of applications for the private residence historic tax credit, which was also expanded last year. 

The historic preservation office has received 6 applications, totaling more than $9.9 million, and received 12 part 1 applications thus far this year. The office continues to hold trainings on the historic tax credit across the state, hoping to encourage all who qualify for the credit to apply.

Preservation Action
1307 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036
p. 202-463-0970  f. 202-463-1299

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.