Award-winning Historic Tax Credit project, the Sagamore Pendry Hotel in the old Rec Pier, Fells Point, Baltimore City, MD. Photo from the Washington Post.

New Numbers Show Economic Impact of Federal Historic Tax Credit in Maryland

By Elly Colmers Cowan

Rutgers University and the National Park Service released the latest Annual Report on the Economic Impact of the Federal Historic Tax Credit. The data from fiscal year 2018 compiled in the document describe the positive impact of the historic rehabilitation projects on indicators like job growth and leveraged investment.

Before the Historic Tax Credit project on Baltimore’s historic rec pier, 2011. Photo by Kilduff.

For Maryland, the rehabilitation of the historic Recreation Pier in Fells Point is beautifully illustrated along with detailed economic numbers for the state. In 2018, Maryland over $143 million dollars was invested in rehabilitation projects and resulted in 2,223 jobs in Maryland and beyond.

Across the nation, the Historic Tax Credit generated over 128,000 jobs in FY2018. Over the 41 years that the program has been active and offering a 20% tax credit on eleigible expenditures, the report calculates that 2.7 million new jobs have been created along with billions of dollars in total, direct and indirect, economic gains.

Additionally, the report also demonstrates that federal investment in rehabilitation projects through the Historic Tax Credit has markedly better effects on employment, income, and state and local projects when compared to the same financial investment in new construction.

For these clear economic reasons and for the intangible benefits of healthy historic communities, Preservation Maryland has strongly advocated for the federal Historic Tax Credit program. In 2017, when the program was weakened, our organization brought together legislators, agencies, preservationists, and developers to substantially improve the program.

Preservation Maryland’s advocacy work for the Historic Tax Credit continues, as does our call for improvements and increased funding to the Maryland Historic Revitalization Tax Credit Program that can be paired with the federal incentives. While the state Historic Tax Credit program has been heralded by Lt. Governor Rutherford as, “one of the most effective investment tools for strengthening Maryland’s local economies,” inadequate funding and staffing vacancies have stifled the program’s potential impact.

Download the Rutgers/NPS Tax Credit Annual Report

Additional Analysis by Novogradac

SEarch for Historic Tax Credit Projects in Maryland

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Elly Colmers Cowan · Director of Government Relations

Elly Cowan works at the local, state, and federal levels to advance the historic preservation, smart growth, and community development policies that make Preservation Maryland's work possible.

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