Earlier this year, there were some anxious moments when it looked as if our state historic tax credit might die an ignominious death in the legislature. Thanks to the vociferous support of preservationists from around the state and forward-thinking leaders such as Speaker of the House Philip Gunn, our tax credit was “revived” to help save historic places another day. On a national front, there is also cause for concern that this amazing tool for revitalizing our downtowns is facing a hostile legislative environment.
How can this be? What can we do?
Some helpful background information and suggestions from Jim Igoe with the National Trust Partners Historic Tax Credit Task Force on how you and preservation-minded organizations around the state can get involved in the fight to save this oh so important tool for historic preservation:
Yesterday, the National Trust For Historic Preservation gave the federal historic tax credit ‘watch status” on its 2014 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.® www.preservationnation.org/issues/11-most-endangered/
At the same time, the National Trust released the first-ever study on the catalytic impacts a federal historic tax credit project has on the surrounding neighborhood. Donovan Rypkema of PlaceEconomics studied the neighborhoods surrounding six projects in Georgia, Maryland and Utah. Using different measures, he found that these historic tax credit projects had increased the number of construction permits, business licenses, property values and in some cases, population. www.preservationnation.org/take-action/advocacy-center/policy-resources/Catalytic-Study-Final-Version-June-2014.pdf.
We can help carry this message throughout our own states and communities by writing op-eds in support of this listing. We can use these talking points to help make the case. www.preservationnation.org/take-action/advocacy-center/policy-resources/historic-tax-credits/Op-Ed-opportunity-RE-HTC-as-watch-list.pdf
Since the rolling letter will again be shared with members of Congress as a result of this listing — both on the Hill and during site visits that partners are arranging for July & August — we want them to have as many signatures as possible. Right now we have 300 signatures and our goal is to double the number of organizations on the letter by the end of June. www.preservationnation.org/take-action/advocacy-center/additional-resources/Preservation-Partners_Organizational_Sign-On_Letter_re_Camp_Repeal.pdf