Letter in Support for the Retention of the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit

by SAH Heritage Conservation Committee | Mar 14, 2016
Letter to The Chairman Kevin Brady and Ranking Member Sander Levin of the House Appropriations Committee expressing support for the retention Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit (14 March 2016) - Read Letter

The House or Representatives Ways and Means Committee, as a part of a larger tax reform consideration, is evaluating the revocation of the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit. Since 1981 the Internal Revenue Service has issued $21 billion in historic tax credits. Over $26 billion in direct federal tax revenue has been generated in the process. Even the Tax Reform Act of 1986 declined to repeal or modify the credit, following a House Ways and Means Committee determination that revocation of the credit would leave property owners and developers with no incentive to rehabilitate our urban areas, leading to further urban deterioration.

SAH position:
SAH strongly supports the preservation of the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit, and encourages any efforts to retain this important program. The program provides essential incentives for the preservation and adaptive reuse of our nation’s historic buildings, which in turn protects the vitality of our communities, neighborhoods, and cities. On behalf of preservationists, property owners, and municipal governments across America, we find the proposal to repeal this essential credit deeply disappointing.  The Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit has been a beacon for neighborhood preservation within the tax code for over 30 years, and has become the most significant federal investment in preservation across our nation. Since its inception this credit has leveraged approximately $109 billion in private investment, resulting in the creation of more than 2.4 million jobs. In these economically challenging times, we believe that this program is not only good public policy, but it is a proven job creator and engine of economic expansion, something which benefits all Americans. 

This situation is very much in flux.

More information: 
Why We Need the Historic Tax Credit - National Trust for Historic Preservation
Historic Tax Credits - National Trust for Historic Preservation

Founded in 1940, the Society of Architectural Historians is an international nonprofit membership organization that promotes the study, interpretation and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes and urbanism worldwide. SAH serves a network of local, national and international institutions and individuals who, by profession or interest, focus on the built environment and its role in shaping contemporary life. SAH promotes meaningful public engagement with the history of the built environment through advocacy efforts, print and online publications, and local, national and international programs.

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