MAY 10, 2019

Celebrate National Historic Preservation Month This May

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) alongside the AZ State Historic Preservation Office tours the Coffelt-Lamareoux housing project in Phoenix, AZ.
Celebrate National Historic Preservation Month this May! Tours, special programs and events celebrating all things preservation, will be happening across the country throughout May. Let us know what your city or state is doing to celebrate Preservation Month! Tag us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

National Historic Preservation Month is also a great time to reach out to your members of Congress and their staff, and invite them tour a historic tax credit project or join a Preservation Month event. Congress will be on an in-district period May 27-31 and again July 1-5. Learn more about scheduling a site visit and reach out to your members today!

Preservation Month Congressional Briefing

Preservation Action is excited to announce that we are working with the co-chairs of the Historic Preservation Caucus, Representatives  Earl Blumenauer  (D-OR) and  Mike Turner (R-OH) to  host a Preservation Month Congressional Briefing on  May 20th The briefing will allow congressional staff to engage with top national preservation organizations and learn more about scheduling a visit to a historic site in their district.

At the briefing we'll highlight the soon to be introduced Historic Tax Credit Growth and Opportunity Act which will make several important improvements to the Historic Tax Credit aimed at expanding access and increasing the value of the tax credit. The briefing will also discuss appropriations for key preservation programs, like the Historic Preservation Fund.

Check out the  Preservation Month Congressional Briefing flyer below. Be sure to share the flyer with your members of Congress and encourage their office to attend!

Annual Report on the Historic Tax Credit Shows Continued Success of the Program

The National Park Service released the  Federal Tax Incentives for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings Annual Report for FY 2018 . The report once again showed the continued success of the Historic Tax Credit (HTC) program. In 2018 alone there were a total of 1,805 Part 1 applications approved for proposed projects and 1,013 Part 3 certifications for completed projects, continuing the trend of record high levels of HTC projects that we've seen in recent years. In total the Historic Tax Credit leveraged over $6.9 billion in private investment in 2018.

Since inception, the Historic Tax Credit has completed 44,341 projects, including creating more than 285,000 rehabilitated housing units, and leveraged $96.87 billion in private investment. The Historic Tax Credit has rehabilitated historic structures in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S Virgin Islands. According to a study commissioned by the National Park Service, $28.9 billion in federal tax credits generated more than $32.4 billion in federal tax revenue from historic rehabilitation projects, more than paying for itself. The HTC continues to spur economic development and create jobs across the country. Check out the full annual report to learn more.
Secretary Bernhardt Testifies Before House Appropriations Subcommittee on FY20 Budget Request

Then Deputy Interior Secretary David Bernhardt speaking at Advocacy Week in 2017
This week the newly confirmed Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt, testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Interior, Environment and Related Agencies on the administration's FY20 Buget Request. The subcommittee has jurisdiction over the National Park Service, including key preservation programs like the Historic Preservation Fund. This was the final budget hearing for the subcommittee. The subcommittee markup for the Interior Appropriations Bill is scheduled for May 15th.

Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI) questioned the Secretary on why FY19 appropriations have not been released for National Heritage Areas (NHAs) and the lack of support for NHAs in the budget request, especially as 6 new NHAs were just created. Secretary Benrhardt said he believed "heritage areas are a very useful and important device for communities" but continued that the budget in order to make cuts, prioritized spending based on operations. In addition to questions on funding levels, committee members also used the opportunity to ask Secretary Bernhardt questions related to the proposed reorganization of the Department of Interior and the need to to address the deferred maintenance backlog at the National Park Service. Watch the full hearing below.

Hawaii Legislature Passes Bill to Establish State Historic Tax Credit

The Hawaii House and Senate passed SB 1394 to establish a new historic tax credit program in the state. Hawaii's Governor, David Ige, has 30 days to indicate support for the bill. If approved by the Governor, the program will go into effect on July 1st of this year, meaning Hawaii would become the 36th state to have a historic tax credit program at the state level.

SB 1394 would establish a 30% historic tax credit on costs associated with the rehabilitation of historic properties and would be capped at $1 million annually. The program would sunset in 5 years, if it's not extended. Congratulations to all of the advocates in Hawaii who have pushed for a historic tax credit program in the state for years. Check out Historic Hawaii Foundation for more information. 

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.