Legislative Update: FY17 Operating Budget is Mixed Bag for Preservation

01/26/2016
By Preservation Maryland

Governor Hogan’s proposed FY17 operating budget is a mixed bag for historic preservation. While cuts to the Maryland Heritage Area Authority have been avoided – and full-funding preserved at $3M – this budget marks the sixth straight year that no funding has been appropriated for any of the traditional history and preservation grant programs.

The FY17 capital budget keeps funding for the Sustainable Communities Tax Credit, the official name of our state historic tax credit) at just $9 million for the entire state. Preservation Maryland, along with the Maryland Historic Tax Credit Coalition are working with the Hogan Administration to fix this funding gap – and help create jobs by funding the program at $30 million. We are optimistic the administration will insert additional funding in a supplemental budget later this legislative session.

SPECIFIC LEGISLATION

HOUSE BILL 21

“Providing that a rehabilitation with at least 30 residential rental units is ineligible for the Maryland Sustainable Communities Tax Credit unless the individual or business entity seeking the certification agrees to set aside at least 10% of the residential rental units as housing for households whose median income does not exceed 60% of the area median income; and applying the Act to initial credit certificates issued on or after July 1, 2016.”

PRESERVATION MARYLAND POSITION

OPPOSED

While House Bill 21 seeks a laudable goal, the state’s Sustainable Communities Tax Credit program cannot solve all of our state’s housing goals. With an appropriation of only $9 million for the entire state, this additional requirement would add an additional hurdle for historic rehabs. In addition, this language is not necessary as the program already provides additional points in the scoring process for awarding credits to projects that create affordable housing.


 

HOUSE BILL 178

“Authorizing the Department of Natural Resources to issue a permit for roadside tree maintenance or removal only for public health and safety purposes or if the tree is dead or dying; prohibiting the Department from issuing a permit for roadside tree maintenance or removal for aesthetic purposes; requiring a person who removes a roadside tree to replace the roadside tree within 2 months after its removal; requiring the Department to ensure that all required replacement trees are planted; etc.”

PRESERVATION MARYLAND POSITION

SUPPORT

While focused on natural resources, like trees, House Bill 178 would also help save and protect vital cultural resources along scenic byways across the state and prevent the destruction of historic trees that have stood for generations.


 

HOUSE BILL 173

“Establishing the Commission on the Solemn Remembrance of the Victims of Lynching; providing for the composition, chair, and staffing of the Commission; requiring the Commission to study and make recommendations regarding the construction of appropriate markers or memorials in solemn remembrance of the victims of lynching in the State; requiring the Commission to report its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly on or before December 1, 2016; etc.”

PRESERVATION MARYLAND POSITION

SUPPORT

Efforts aimed at exploring, investigating and discussing the complex racial history of the state is important and worthwhile. Preservation Maryland supports House Bill 173 and the creation of this commission.


 

HOUSE BILL 48

“Authorizing the creation of a State Debt not to exceed $300,000, the proceeds to be used as a grant to the Board of Directors of the Maryland Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation, Inc. for the acquisition, planning, design, construction, repair, renovation, reconstruction, and capital equipping of the Scottish Rite Temple, located in Baltimore City; providing for disbursement of the loan proceeds, subject to a requirement that the grantee provide and expend a matching fund; etc.”

PRESERVATION MARYLAND POSITION

SUPPORT

We emphatically support House Bill 48 and the effort to assist with the restoration of the Scottish Rite Temple, an important historic structure in Baltimore City. Unfortunately, bond bills like this are one of the few alternatives for historic renovations in the state since the de-funding of the state’s preservation grant programs in 2010.


 

HOUSE BILL 275

“Requiring the Department of Housing and Community Development to provide specified notice and opportunity to comment to specified local governing bodies before the Department may approve projects under the Neighborhood and Community Assistance Program; repealing the requirement that specified local governing bodies or their authorized designees must approve specified proposals; increasing to $7 million the maximum sum of contributions for projects under the Program; etc.”

PRESERVATION MARYLAND POSITION

SUPPORT

The Community Investment Tax Credit, a tax credit for non-profit donors, is important to many cultural and historical organizations and any effort to simplify the process and increase funding is worth supporting.


Lime kiln at Cromwell Valley Park. Photo by Cromwell Valley Park Council.

HOUSE BILL 89

“Authorizing the creation of a State Debt not to exceed $200,000, the proceeds to be used as a grant to the Board of Directors of the Cromwell Valley Park Council, Inc. for the acquisition, planning, design, construction, repair, renovation, reconstruction, and capital equipping of the Limekilns and Log House at Cromwell Valley Park, located in Baltimore County; providing for disbursement of the loan proceeds, subject to a requirement that the grantee provide and expend a matching fund; etc”

PRESERVATION MARYLAND POSITION

SUPPORT

We emphatically support House Bill 89 and the effort to assist with the restoration of the Limekilns and Log House at Cromwell Valley Park. Unfortunately, bond bills like this are one of the few alternatives for historic renovations in the state since the de-funding of the state’s preservation grant programs in 2010.


Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michael’s, Maryland. Photo from their Facebook page.

HOUSE BILL 206

“Authorizing the creation of a State Debt not to exceed $250,000, the proceeds to be used as a grant to the Board of Governors of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Inc. for the acquisition, planning, design, construction, repair, renovation, reconstruction, and capital equipping of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, located in Talbot County; providing for disbursement of the loan proceeds, subject to a requirement that the grantee provide and expend a matching fund; etc.”

PRESERVATION MARYLAND POSITION

SUPPORT

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is one of the crown jewels of Maryland’s museums and is an important connection to our past. We support House Bill 206 and all efforts to increase funding for projects at the museum. Unfortunately, bond bills like this are one of the few alternatives for historic renovations in the state since the de-funding of the state’s preservation grant programs in 2010.


 

SENATE BILL 248

“Authorizing a municipality to establish and maintain a registry of vacant or blighted buildings and a special remediation fund to administer registration, inspection, and remediation programs for vacant or blighted buildings.”

PRESERVATION MARYLAND POSITION

AWAITING FURTHER INFORMATION

We remain interested and cautiously optimistic about the potential of this kind of legislation to impact vacant historic buildings in a positive and smart manner, but await further information and the hearing scheduled for 2/09.


 

SENATE BILL 172

“Authorizing the creation of a State Debt in the amount of $300,000, the proceeds to be used as a grant to the Executive Committee of the Historic St. Mary’s City Commission for the acquisition, planning, design, construction, repair, renovation, reconstruction, and capital equipping of the Dove Pier, located in St. Mary’s County; providing for disbursement of the loan proceeds; establishing a deadline for the encumbrance or expenditure of the loan proceeds; etc.”‘

PRESERVATION MARYLAND POSITION

SUPPORT

We emphatically support Senate Bill 172 and the effort to assist with the interpretation of Historic St. Mary’s City, an important historic site in Maryland history. Unfortunately, bond bills like this are one of the few alternatives for historic site projects in the state since the de-funding of the state’s preservation grant programs in 2010.


 

SENATE BILL 50

“Authorizing the creation of a State Debt not to exceed $90,000, the proceeds to be used as a grant to the Board of Directors of the Belvoir-Scott’s Plantation, Inc. for the acquisition, planning, design, construction, repair, renovation, reconstruction, and capital equipping of the Belvoir-Scott’s Plantation Historic Manor House, located in Anne Arundel County; providing for disbursement of the loan proceeds, subject to a requirement that the grantee provide and expend a matching fund; etc.

PRESERVATION MARYLAND POSITION

SUPPORT

We emphatically support Senate Bill 50 and funding for Belvoir-Scott Plantation, an important historic site in Anne Arundel County. Unfortunately, bond bills like this are one of the few alternatives for historic site projects in the state since the de-funding of the state’s preservation grant programs in 2010.

Preservation Maryland

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

Meet Our Team
Our Story Donate Press & Media Resources Contact Us Site by Younts Design Inc. © Preservation Maryland, 2017.