Historic Footer Dye Works building, historic tax credit project in Cumberland, MD.

Op-Ed: Historic Tax Credits Need More Funding

01/07/2019
By Preservation Maryland

On Monday, January 7, 2019, The Baltimore Sun published an Op-Ed by Preservation Maryland Executive Director, Nicholas A. Redding, calling for stronger support for the state Historic Tax Credit.

The full Op-Ed can be read on the Baltimore Sun website. A selection of the Op-Ed, courtesy of the Baltimore Sun appears below:

Champions of revitalization and community development were right to cheer Gov. Hogan’s recent announcement to provide additional incentives to spur action and interest in the state’s newly designated federal Opportunity Zones. Unfortunately, missing from the governor’s plan was any mention or support for Maryland’s critical yet tragically underfunded and overlooked historic tax credit.

Despite the demonstrated and concrete success of the program, the annual appropriation has been slashed by nearly 70 percent over the past dozen years — with a paltry $9 million available annually to support large, community-scale redevelopment projects across the state. Maryland is also falling behind its peers in supporting this kind of proven program. By comparison, Virginia invests nearly $100 million annually, and neighboring West Virginia now invests $30 million.

Established in Maryland in 1997, mirroring a similar federal program created under the Reagan administration, the state historic tax credit provides a 20 percent credit against the expenses associated with rehabilitating an historic structure. The economic impact of these projects has also been nothing short of spectacular. Reports by the Abell Foundation and others have consistently shown a remarkable 8 to 1 return on investment for Maryland taxpayers and nearly 90 jobs created for every $1 million in rehab work. As a result, the program has quietly created nearly 30,000 jobs and yielded almost $3.5 billion in economic activity in just over 20 years of its existence.

For these reasons, in the coming legislative session, Preservation Maryland intends on working with legislators from across the state and political spectrum to support legislation that would improve the program and provide much needed increased funding. We hope Governor Hogan will lend his support to these proposals and to a cost-effective program that truly makes Maryland open for business.

Read the Full Op-Ed

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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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