Our Work is Never Done! In the face of the ongoing pandemic, Preservation Maryland convened a task force of history, preservation, economic development, design, and tourism organizations to focus on identifying and advocating for public policy necessary to support the recovery of Maryland’s historical and cultural resources and the communities they support. The Maryland Heritage Recovery Task Force is focused on including museums, adaptive reuse, and smart growth in future recovery bills.Join The Task Force
Session is Closed, Yet Our Work is Not Done: The 441st Session of the Maryland General Assembly came to an abrupt close on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 due to Covid-19. With the final three weeks of session compressed into four days, Preservation Maryland worked to make sure that a number of our priority bills moved through the legislative process before Session came to a close. Now, we’re focused on including museums, adaptive reuse, and smart growth in future recovery bills.
The revitalization of Maryland communities is fueled by the Historic Revitalization Tax Credit program. Senator Katie Fry Hester and Delegate Stephanie Smith are introducing The Historic Revitalization Tax Credit Improvement Act of 2020 (SB978/HB862) that will strengthen this effective community redevelopment tool.
As of FY20, Maryland invested only $9M in the Historic Revitalization Tax Credit program for the year for the entire state. By comparison, Virginia invests nearly $100M annually, and West Virginia invests $30M. Maryland is falling behind. Preservation Maryland and our supporters have worked diligently to make policy changes to strengthen this essential revitalization tool. Unfortunately, without more funding for the program, those positive changes have little opportunity to make the intended impact for communities across Maryland.
We recognize the positive impact that historic preservation projects can have for the surrounding community and the state as a whole. The Historic Revitalization Tax Credit Improvement Act of 2020 (SB978/HB862) would:
Maryland’s preservation grant programs had gone completely unfunded since FY10. Because of our advocacy, in FY18, funding was restored to the Capital and Non-Capital grant programs. Current funding continues at starvation level, with the need far outstripping available funds. We must and will do more to support those safe-guarding our state’s rich and unique history.
The African American Heritage Grant Program provides direct grant support for capital (bricks-and-mortar) upgrades and repairs to sites representing Maryland’s African-American historical experience. As with the Capital and Non-Capital Grant programs, the funding requests for this program are consistently greater than the available funding.
(SB105/HB205) Over the last 25 years, the state has completed five major studies on the feasibility, need, and economic impact of high-capacity, fixed route transit service to Southern Maryland, and despite the conclusion of every study repeatedly confirming that the Southern Maryland Rapid Transit project would vastly improve the quality of life for Southern Maryland residents, promote economic development consistent with smart growth, and advance the State’s emissions reduction goal, the Maryland Department of Transportation has not moved forward with the project. SB105 would require the State to complete the necessary steps to complete the Southern Maryland Rapid Transit project and commit the necessary funding.
(SB229/HB292)This legislation would extended an authority currently only granted to eastern shore counties, which would require that local governments approve of state toll roads before their construction in their jurisdictions. Toll roads have the potential to significantly impact growth patterns, and often historic resources, making this legislation a priority for the smart growth and preservation community alike.
In 1969, the Maryland General Assembly created Program Open Space through the institution of a transfer tax of .5% on every real estate transaction in the state. Since then the program has been responsible for:
The Maryland Heritage Areas Authority is funded by Program Open Space. Preservation Maryland supports full funding of Program Open Space and the Heritage Area Authority, opposes any attempts to shortcut, reduce, or cap the program in any way, and we support the repayment of previous diversions from the fund.
On the evening of July 22, 2020, the House of Representatives approved one of the most significant pieces of conservation legislation in a generation, the Great American Outdoors Act, with broad bipartisan support. Having passed the Senate in June, the legislation is on its way to the President’s desk, who specifically requested the bill for his signature.Continue Reading
The House of Representatives has passed The Moving Forward Act (H.R. 2), a comprehensive infrastructure bill that includes enhancements and temporary emergency measures for the federal Historic Tax Credit, thanks in part to the advocacy of Preservation Maryland and our national partners.Continue Reading
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who represents Maryland’s 5th District announced that the House would vote on the Great American Outdoors Act (HR 7092), the single largest investment in the preservation of historic, cultural, and natural resources for public lands in our generation, by the end of July.Continue Reading
A leading consulting firm in the study of preservation, revitalization, and reinvestment economics, PlaceEconomics, has just released a clear case for including historic preservation principles squarely into COVID-19 recovery efforts.Continue Reading
The Land and Water Conservation Fund is an essential tool for preserving America’s vast and varied landscapes and cultural resources. Because of the Act’s positive and proven impact, Smart Growth Maryland has joined with a number of national partners to call on Congress to make funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund permanent by passing the Great American Outdoors Act as part of the next round of COVID-19 recovery legislation.Continue Reading
Because of the safety measures taken to reduce the spread of COVID-19, we have all experienced considerable disruption to how we move and where we go. Google has been compiling data about our collective change in movement – and it shows Marylander’s unebbing attraction to our parks, trails, and open spaces.Continue Reading
To be a preservationist, you need to be an optimist. You need to look at the dilapidated building, see what once was, and have the vision to see what could be. Today, at a time when despair would be easy, I need you to reach deep into your reserves of optimism – and help us build a brighter future by joining Preservation Maryland.Continue Reading
In March, the National Park Service released their latest Annual Report on the Historic Tax Credit program, the largest Federal investment in historic preservation.Continue Reading
Maryland’s historic tax credit is a ready-made tool for economic recovery in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Preservation Maryland is hard at work to ensure that the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit remains funded for FY21.Continue Reading
In Maryland, tax credits for rehab projects have revitalized communities statewide, saved thousands of historic buildings, and created billions in state revenue.
Smart Growth Maryland is a campaign of Preservation Maryland which advocates for a more environmentally and economically sustainable future that creates opportunities for all Marylanders through better development patterns.
Thanks to this program, nearly all Marylanders are just 15 minutes away from a state, local park or public open space.
Promoting and enhancing the history of Maryland is a big job – and one that fuels one of the state’s most important industries: Heritage Tourism.
Federal agencies oversee key funding programs and policies that protect America’s historic resources from needless destruction.
State funding for preservation benefits all Marylanders – and has saved historic resources from Oakland to Ocean City.
Several key state agencies are charged with protecting Maryland’s history – a job that requires adequate resources.
All across the state, local governments have realized the value of a well-preserved community and many offer lucrative programs to assist with rehab efforts.
Main Street Maryland’s traditional downtown economic and cultural districts are the cornerstones of local communities throughout the State of Maryland.