Last week, a new iteration of the reconciliation infrastructure bill was released and was significantly reduced in scope, excluding the Historic Tax Credit (HTC) enhancements and many other community development incentives that were in a prior bill.
Fortunately, there were insufficient votes to pass the “Build Back Better” budget reconciliation bill. With the surface transportation authorization expiring, the House instead passed an extension until December 3rd.
HTC advocates should seize this opportunity. With a very limited amount of time to influence the legislation and knowledge that the HTC is currently “out” of the bill, now is the time to tell your federal legislators how much HTC improvements mean to you.
Take Action: Contact Democrats to Include HTC Provisions ASAP!
- Sign the National Trust Sign-on Letter
- The National Trust for Historic Preservation has organized a National Sign-on letter to encourage congressional leadership to include the HTC enhancement provisions in the final bill. Click here to sign the letter.
- Continue to Call Your Democratic Members of Congress, especially Democratic Senators (during office hours)
- Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121
- Introduce yourself as a constituent and provide your legislators with a message like:
“The Historic Tax Credit is the single most important tool for historic preservation. Though the HTC provisions were included in the Ways and Means bill in September, HTC provisions were not included in the recent “Build Back Better” bill. Please make sure to include the HTC provisions in the final reconciliation bill. These provisions would benefit projects from Main Street revitalizations to large-scale rehabilitation while also supporting community revitalization and climate change mitigation.”
For more details on the bill provisions and talking points (located at the bottom of the page), click here
Thank you for your advocacy! Please share your efforts so we can monitor our impact by emailing: Mike Phillips, Shaw Sprague, and Patrick Robertson.
In September, the following HTC provisions were included in the bill passed out of the House Ways and Means Committee but are no longer included in the “Build Back Better” bill.
- Sec. 135301. Temporarily increasing the HTC From 20% to 30% for all projects
- Sec. 135302. Permanent increase in the rehabilitation credit for small projects
- Sec. 135303. Modification of substantial rehabilitation definition
- Sec. 135304. Elimination of basis adjustment
- Sec. 135305. Modifications of tax-exempt use leasing rules
- Sec. 135306. Enabling HTC to be used for public school buildings
To read the full text of the section-by-section breakdown of the HTC provisions passed by the Ways and Means Committee in September (but now not included in the White House framework), click here (HTC on Pages 3 and 4).
Last week, the Biden administration and the Senate engaged in further negotiations with the House to reduce the reconciliation bill’s size and scope, from $3.5 trillion to well under $2 trillion. The White House released the “Build Back Better” framework, which is now being prepared for a House vote. Though the package of bills passed by the Ways and Means Committee in September included the HTC provisions, many community development incentives, including the Historic Tax Credit, were not included in last week’s new “Build Back Better” bill text.
Congress is now poised to pass a bill that contains only the framework provisions – leaving the HTC enhancements behind. HTC advocates have gained days, maybe even weeks, to get HTC provisions back in the final bill. The reconciliation bill is essentially a Democratic exercise, and no Republicans will be voting for the bill. Democratic leadership will be trying to close a final deal with Senate Democratic Moderates and House Progressives as soon as this week, but a final deal and Senate vote could languish until later this month.
The HTC is the most successful federal program that supports historic preservation. These HTC provisions would be the biggest improvement and expansion to the HTC in a generation. The changes would benefit ALL HTC-eligible projects, from Main Street to large-scale rehabilitation efforts across the country. Additionally, the leading voices on climate action call for more building reuse to mitigate the effects of climate change.