WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Darin LaHood (R-IL), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), and U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced legislation yesterday to strengthen the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit (HTC) and reduce the administrative burden associated with the program. The recent tax bill preserved the 20 percent HTC, with the credit now being claimed over a five-year period. This bill eliminates the existing basis-adjustment requirement to bring the HTC in line with other tax credits claimed over multiple years, including the Low-Income Housing Tax credit. This encourages investment by ensuring developers receive the maximum benefit from the HTC.

“All across the 18th District, the Historic Tax Credit has helped preserve the historic buildings and landmarks that make our communities so unique,” said Rep. LaHood, a member of the Ways & Means Committee. “This bill is the product of months of work between our offices and local leaders who understand the importance of enhancing this credit. I am proud that the bill we put forth presents bipartisan, common-sense reforms to strengthen HTC, and I hope to see it passed quickly by Congress so that more projects can take advantage of this important credit.”

“Preserving historic places is a key part of any livable community – contributing to our sense of place, while honoring the generations and cultures that came before us,” said Rep. Blumenauer, a member of the Ways & Means Committee and co-chair of the Congressional Historic Preservation Caucus. “Strengthening the Historic Tax Credit will further revitalize American cities while creating local jobs and spurring economic development in communities large and small.”

“The Historic Tax Credit has made a huge difference in Louisiana, encouraging the restoration of landmarks and other legacy buildings in communities across the state, returning them to good use and preserving our architectural heritage for future generations,” said Dr. Cassidy, a member of the Senate Finance Committee. “Protecting this credit was one of my top priorities in tax reform and I’m glad there is bipartisan support for making it even better.”

“We can create jobs by continuing to preserve the abundant history in Maryland and across America. Improving the Historic Tax Credit will save many historically significant buildings and homes nationwide while stimulating long-term economic growth and bringing life to forgotten neighborhoods,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Finance Committee. “This is an infrastructure and jobs program that has a true multiplier effect. I’m pleased to join my colleagues in this bipartisan effort, and I hope that we can continue to enhance and expand this important economic development incentive.” 

Since 2002, the Historic Tax Credit has supported over 286 projects in Illinois, generating more than $4 billion in income and creating more than 43,300 jobs in the state.

This bill came about after months of working with local leaders from across the nation and across Illinois’ 18th Congressional District.  

“The Historic Tax Credit is essential to revitalizing communities and preserving our heritage in the State of Illinois,” said Bonnie McDonald, President & CEO of Landmarks Illinois in Springfield. “Congressman LaHood’s legislation increases the value of the Historic Tax Credit and allows more historic preservation projects to proceed in the future.”

“Without the enhancements in this bill, we would not be able to use the Federal Historic Tax Credit incentive for development in areas such as Peoria, Peoria Heights, Bloomington, and Lincoln due to the previous changes that prevent the credit from being used for certain projects with tight budgets,” said Katie Kim, developer and Landmarks Illinois Board Member. “The proposed revisions to HTC in this bill will make taking on these projects more viable and sustainable, helping small and mid-size communities make revitalization projects happen in areas where they otherwise would not. Peoria has already seen over $25 million in development over the past three years due to the Historic Tax Credit, and I appreciate Rep. LaHood’s work to strengthen it going forward and help empower our small and mid-size communities for growth.”

Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis said “The Historic Tax Credit is vital to revitalizing the many historical buildings across Peoria, and I want to thank Congressman LaHood for his commitment to strengthening it. This bill will be a win for our community and will make it easier for us to preserve the historic buildings in our city for years to come.”

The bill also has the support of national leaders in the historic preservation community.

Merrill Hoopengardner, President of the National Trust Community Investment Corporation and Chair of the Historic Tax Credit Coalition said the following: “This bill is an important step in ensuring the most significant federal investment in preservation continues to be a robust and successful program from urban cores to rural Main streets to across the country. The industry believes this bill will help strengthen the marketplace and help to rehabilitate many buildings that have been waiting to come back to life.  We appreciate these preservation champions taking this crucial step to improve this critical development incentive

Stephanie K. Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, issued the following statement in support: “The federal historic tax credit, our strongest federal preservation incentive, has transformed tens of thousands of underused buildings for new and productive uses, created millions of good-paying jobs, and attracted more than $131 billion in private investment for cities and towns across America. This legislation will build on the many decades of success of the program and bring it into alignment with other, more recently-enacted tax incentives. It modernizes the credit while minimizing costs and maximizing economic impact for communities throughout the country.”