Advocacy Outlook: Maryland History Needs You

01/11/2017
By Preservation Maryland

Maryland’s state legislative session has begun – and as Preservation Maryland advocates on behalf of our state’s historic, cultural, and natural resources, we want to know: do you have our back? Your voice matters, and we’ve made it easy for you to participate:

GET THE FACTS

In Maryland, the state’s major historic preservation and museum funding programs have gone unfunded since 2010 – that’s too long and the need has only grown. The Maryland Historical Trust and the Department of Budget and Management recently published a report identifying millions of dollars of funding needs for Maryland heritage, particularly in rural Maryland.

Prepared with this report and positive statistics on the economic benefits of historic preservation and heritage tourism, Preservation Maryland and its partners will make the following asks of Governor Hogan and the Maryland General Assembly:

PROGRAM FUNDING

Capital Grant Program: This program funded capital upgrades and repairs to certified historic structures owned by non-profits and local governments. It operated as a competitively awarded program with statewide reach and impact. We request $600k in FY18.

Planning & Research: This program was previously funded via the state operating budget. This program awarded competitive grants for architectural and archeological research, survey and documentation, public education, and planning projects. The program directly supported local governments’ efforts to preserve places important to their constituents. We request $500k in FY18.

Museum Assistance Program: As Maryland is without a true ‘state museum,’ the tradition has been to provide support to the state’s network of regional and community museums via the Museum Assistance grant program. The program was used to enhance museum exhibits, visitor facilities and provide educational programming across the state. We request $400k in FY18.

HISTORIC REHAB TAX CREDIT

The revitalization of Maryland communities is fueled by the Heritage Structure Rehabilitation Tax Credit program. Funding the competitive commercial tax credit at $30 million could potentially generate $255 million in economic activity and create more than 2,175 good paying jobs for Marylanders. We request an increase of investment from $9 million to $30 million.

MARYLAND HERITAGE AREAS

Maryland Heritage Areas are places to experience – to see, hear and even taste – the authentic heritage of Maryland. In partnership, individuals, business, organizations, and governments of Heritage Areas create more livable and economically sustainable communities where people want to live and visit. We request an increase of program cap from $3 million to $6 million.

STAND WITH MARYLAND HERITAGE

 

On Tuesday, February 7, 2017, dozens of history, humanities and preservation advocates from across the state will descend on Annapolis to let their elected officials know that our state’s history is worth protecting. During this year’s Maryland History Advocacy Day, we will be advocating for the policies, programs, and funding that makes our collective work possible.

Advocacy Day will start with a morning briefing on our major issues and asks at Historic Annapolis’ William Paca House. Groups based on interest, expertise, and district will come together after the briefing and those teams will leave for their legislative meetings. Closing out the day, Preservation Maryland is hosting advocates, representatives from the Hogan administration, members of the General Assembly and their staff for an even reception in the House Office Building. In general, attendees make their own schedules, and can come to as many meetings as they like, with the optional reception in the evening.

You do not need previous advocacy experience, but comfort and confidence in meetings is important. Preservation Maryland hosts Advocacy Day as a free event to encourage participation. If you are a professional, business-owner, or allied non-profit that benefits from state preservation programs and Preservation Maryland and it’s partner’s advocacy, please support our work by donating to our Advocacy Fund.

 

 

Preservation Maryland

Preservation Maryland is Maryland’s first and largest organization dedicated to preserving the state’s historic buildings, neighborhoods, landscapes, and archaeological sites.

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