Preservation Virginia Alert–Action Needed for the Historic Tax Credit

The following is a release from Preservation Virginia, the statewide preservation organization. Winchester is one of the leading localities utilizing historic tax credits in Virginia and they are a vital tool in making preservation feasible for buildings like the Lewis Jones Knitting Mill, the Taylor Hotel, or the Lovett Building. Please take a moment to write to Senator Warner and Senator Kaine today (a sample letter is at the bottom of the post for you) and ask for their support of the Historic Tax Credit. Don’t forget to forward any responses to Preservation Virginia to help them track the issue.

Next week is an important week for tax reform as the U.S. Senate considers options. Your help is needed to ensure that the Historic Tax Credit remains in a reform package. Write to Senator Warner and Senator Kaine today and ask for their support of the Historic Tax Credit.

Background: Recently Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orin Hatch (R-UT) circulated a letter to all Senators asking them for their participation in tax reform. Members were informed that the Committee will start with a “blank slate,” meaning all tax expenditures, both corporate and individual provisions (including the Historic Tax Credit) would initially be eliminated. Senators were also told that to be re-included in the tax code, a provision or proposal had to: 1) help the economy grow 2) make the tax code fairer, or 3) effectively promote other important policy objectives. Senators are finalizing their letter for the deadline on 26 July.

Contact Senator Warner and Senator Kaine TODAY to ensure that they:
1) include HTC in their list of priorities for tax reform and 2) co-sponsoring S.1141, the Creating American Prosperity through Preservation Act. Below is a sample letter and suggested points for your correspondence.
Please forward any replies to Preservation Virginia so that we can help track this issue.
Thank you for your support!
Senator Warner:
Senator Kaine :

Dear Senator:
I write to encourage your support of the historic rehabilitation tax credit (HTC) a vital tool for historic preservation and economic development. The HTC more than pays for itself: The cost of the credit has been $20.5 billion and it has generated $25.9 billion in federal taxes.* The HTC is a proven job-creating, community-revitalizing investment in sustainable communities.
Over the last 32 years, the program has revived 38,700 vacant or underutilized buildings, created 2.35 million jobs, and attracted over $106 billion in private investment. In Virginia, 870 commercial rehabilitation projects have resulted in more than $2.2 billion in development investment and the creation of more than 35,000 jobs. It has been called the largest community revitalization program in the county. In Virginia, projects such as the Westover Apartments, Arlington; Paramount Theater, Charlottesville; Schoolfield School Complex, Danville; and the National Theater, Richmond were made possible by use of these credits.
Historic preservation is more labor-intensive than new construction, and is proven to create more, better-paying jobs. Additionally, developers of historic buildings often buy local and hire local. More than 75 percent of the economic benefits of historic rehabilitation remain in the local economies.
I encourage you to include the HTC in your list of priorities for tax reform and to co-sponsor S.1141, the Creating American Prosperity through Preservation Act. Thank you for your consideration.

* The credit cost was calculated by the IRS and the income generated came from a Rutgers University report commissioned by the National Park Service.
Additional Facts:
• The Creating American Prosperity through Preservation (CAPP) Act proposes strategic adjustments to the HTC that would enhance the credit’s economic and sustainability benefits.
• As a nation, we want to live and work in places that reflect the stories that define our heritage. The historic tax credit makes saving those places possible.
• This tax credit protects some of the nation’s most iconic buildings, defining our heritage and sense of community.