July 22, 2019, As tax legislation is considered this fall, industry lobbyists and advocates will attempt to insert the provisions from the Historic Tax Credit-Growth and Opportunity (HTC-GO) Act into these must-pass bills. The August congressional recess presents the best opportunity for advocates to engage with their lawmakers at home and voice support for HTC-GO. Advocates are encouraged to join HTC supporters across the nation in ramping up August advocacy efforts by inviting members of Congress to local projects or scheduling local in-district meetings.
Introduced in the House of Representatives by Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Darin LaHood (R-PA), Terri Sewell (D-AL) and Mike Kelly (R-PA), HTC-GO would eliminate the HTC basis adjustment requirement, which will bring more value to HTC transactions, encourage more private investment in smaller “Main Street” size deals, and make changes to tax-exempt property rules that will make the HTC more usable by non-profits. Support for the HTC-GO bill is gaining strong momentum with 32 House co-sponsors and the Senate introduction of similar legislation expected this summer.
The Historic Tax Credit Coalition hosted a lobby day on June 19th with over 30 historic rehab industry professionals and historic preservation advocates participating. Organized prior to the HTC IPED Conference, advocates met with 54 congressional offices to discuss the HTC-GO Act. Coupled with grassroots advocacy across the nation, these meetings have contributed significantly to the surge of House members joining the bill as co-sponsors.
Arrange a Site-visit or in-district meeting with your House and Senate Members during the August Summer Recesses
To show Members of Congress the impact of the HTC in revitalizing communities and preserving our heritage, as well as the potential of future projects, please plan a site visit or in-district/in-state meeting. Both House and Senate Members of Congress will be home from August 3rd-September 8th. Please send requests ASAP to get on your legislators’ recess schedules!
To arrange a site visit or in-district meeting with a member of Congress:
- Identify the HTC project and gather the necessary stakeholders in order to execute the site-visit or meeting. Projects discussed or toured should highlight the benefits of the HTC incentive program or the HTC-GO legislation
- Locate the name and phone number of your House Representative or Senator
- Ask for the contact information for schedulers in offices of your Members of Congress. Once connected, make a request to accompany the Member on an HTC project tour (or a meeting) during the upcoming recesses
Or request a meeting with advocates in the local office. Use this sample meeting request letter and site-visit guidance document.
- Coordinate meetings with local preservationists, developers, architects, mayors, Main Street organizations, and others to convey the broad impact of HTC and the benefits of HTC-GO legislation to your community
- Contact Mike Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional assistance
Ask Members of Congress: “Please co-sponsor the Historic Tax Credit Growth and Opportunity Act”
HTC-GO brings more value to HTC transactions and encourages redevelopment of smaller, income-producing properties by:
- Eliminating the HTC Basis Adjustment requirement. Presently, the tax code requires that building owners subtract the number of HTCs from a building’s basis (the amount a property is worth for tax purposes). In short, the federal government is giving an incentive and then taxing that incentive. Eliminating this requirement will bring more value to all HTC projects by increasing the basis of rehabilitated historic buildings for building owners, provide additional depreciation and other tax benefits, and attract more capital from tax credit investors
- Increasing the credit from 20 to 30 percent for projects with rehabilitation expenses of less than $2.5 million
- Encouraging more outside investment for smaller projects (under 2.5 million) by allowing the transfer of the credits as a tax certificate
- Making it easier to meet the substantial rehabilitation test
- Creating greater flexibility for non-profit organizations to partner with developers in redevelopment projects.
HTC Project Maps, Fact Sheets and Summaries: Click Here
Please share the outcomes of your advocacy or gain assistance in coordinating your site visit by contacting HTC Campaign Staff Members with NTCIC, the HTCC and the National Trust.
HTC Staff Contacts
NTCIC Director of Public Policy: Mike Phillips
National Trust for Historic Preservation Senior Director of Government Relations: Shaw Sprague
National Trust for Historic Preservation Senior Director, Outreach & Support: Renee Kuhlman