Advocacy Alert: Urge Your Baltimore Councilperson to Support the City’s Historic Tax Credit

08/25/2020
By Elly Colmers Cowan

In late August, the Taxation, Finance, & Economic Development Committee of the Baltimore City Council returned a favorable report on Council Bill 20-0552, which extends the city’s historic tax credit through 2022. The bill now moves on to the full City Council, and we need you now to reach out to your councilperson and ask them to support this legislation.

Take Action: Baltimore City’s Historic Tax Credit is a ready-made economic revitalization tool and can be a key component to the City’s economic recovery and future, while also preserving the city’s rich and unique past.

Contact Your Council Person Today

THE BILL

Baltimore City Council is considering a bill (CB20-0552) that will extend the tax credit for historic restorations and rehabilitations through February 2022 and delegates certain administrative duties to increase the efficiency of the program. The extension will also allow considerations to be made related to the impact of the ongoing Covid-19 health crisis.

RECENT REPORT HIGHLIGHTS PROGRAM IMPACT

The City of Baltimore must prioritize its programs that encourage job growth and stimulate investment and revitalization. Baltimore City’s historic tax credit (HTC) program is one such economic recovery tool. It has leveraged over $1.2 billion in private investment into the City while helping more than 3,500 historic properties. Additionally, according to an economic impact report on the tax credit program, the city can expect over $40 million in additional tax revenues from properties that have utilized HTCs. The program is also a proven job creator, generating $36 million in labor income and nearly 600 jobs annually. By extending the program while the impacts of COVID-19 are assessed, the HTCs will be able to aid in the process of recovery.

In the hearing on the bill in the Taxation, Finance, and Economic Development Committee, Delegate Stephanie Smith, who is the Assistant Director for Equity, Engagement, and Communications at the Baltimore City Department of Planning as well as a State Delegate, noted that the historic tax credit can act as an on-ramp for small developers and buyers who are normally priced out of other types of projects. This includes non-profit developers who invest in community development in marginalized communities, as well as first time buyers who are able to purchase homes because the developer is able to sell the property at an attainable price because of the savings to their bottom line as a result of the historic tax credit.

TAKE ACTION

While it is encouraging that CB 20-0552 received a favorable committee report, there is still work to be done to get it over the finish line and to become law. The Baltimore City Council needs to hear from you about why the historic tax credit is so important to economic and community development in all parts of Baltimore and to preserving the City’s past while building for its future.

Support the Baltimore Historic Tax Credit today!

Contact Your legislators

ACCESS BALTIMORE HTC REPORT (PDF)

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Elly Colmers Cowan · Director of Advocacy

Elly Cowan is here to get you involved in historic preservation, smart growth, and community development by becoming an advocate with us.

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