Finding funds for your preservation rehabilitation project can be complex and confusing. Fortunately, in Maryland, there are many programs designed to help private property owners maintain and rehabilitate their historic structure. Historic tax credits are a critical tool and may be just the funding boost you need to get your project completed!
One of the most popular community engagement activities in Smart Growth is the Main Street Program. In 1998, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development created a comprehensive downtown revitalization program called Main Street Maryland. For more than 20 years, this program has improved the economy, appearance, and image of Maryland’s downtown districts.
State flag of Maryland.
Preservation News Across Maryland
07/01/2021 By Dana Cohen
As a nonprofit with the sole mission of preserving Maryland’s historic buildings, neighborhoods and landscapes through outreach, funding, and advocacy, Preservation Maryland has its finger on the pulse of news affecting the preservation community. Read below for recent news from across the state about historic preservation funding and advocacy.
Hogan Administration announces $600,000 in Grants for Historic Preservation Projects
Hogan Administration Announces $600,000 in Grants for Historic Preservation Projects across Maryland
The Hogan administration has announced six projects -Whitehall in Anne Arundel County, F.W. Fraley General Merchandise Store in Frederick County, Jerusalem Mansion in Harford County, Asbury United Methodist Church (formerly Easton Asbury M.E. Church) in Talbot County, Roland Park Water Tower in Baltimore City, and Whitehaven United Methodist Church in Wicomico County – were funded by the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) through the Historic Preservation Capital Grant Program, which assists brick-and-mortar historic preservation projects across Maryland.
Current photo of the Roland Park Water Tower. Photo from Roland Park Civic League.
MHT, an agency of the Maryland Department of Planning, received more than 30 applications for projects competing for $600,000 in available grants, demonstrating strong demand for the funding across the state. “The Historic Preservation Capital Grant program is a critical tool in promoting economic development focused on local historic resources,” said Governor Hogan.
The Historic Preservation Capital Grant Program provides support for physical preservation projects as well as for architectural, engineering, archeology, and consulting services needed in the development of a construction project. Acquisition of properties can also be funded. All assisted properties are required to be either listed on or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Organizations may request up to $100,000 per project.
Since its inception in 1978, the Historic Preservation Capital Grant Program has assisted hundreds of properties in every county and Baltimore City. Nonprofits, local jurisdictions, business entities, and individuals are all eligible. Governor Hogan restored funding for this program in 2018; the first time funding was made available in nearly a decade.
Preservation News Across Maryland: Senator Cardin introduces the Historic Tax Credit Growth and Opportunity Act
Preservation Maryland works at the federal, state, and local level to influence the policies, programs, and funding mechanisms that make preservation and smart growth possible. Advocacy remains one of the primary activities of the organization because of the dramatic scale of its impact. Some of our most recent advocacy work resulted in Senator Cardin’s (D-MD) sponsorship of the Historic Tax Credit Growth and Opportunity Act. Our colleagues at the National Trust Community Investment Corporation are encouraging partners to ask their local senators to add their support and cosponsor the bill.
News from the National Trust Community Investment Corporation
Ask your Senators to Cosponsor the Historic Tax Credit Growth and Opportunity Act (HTC-GO)- S. 2266. Last week, Senator Cardin (D-MD), Senator Cassidy (R-LA), Senator Cantwell (D-WA), and Senator Collins (R-ME) introduced the Senate version of the Historic Tax Credit Growth and Opportunity Act (HTC-GO), S. 2266. Like the House version of HTC-GO (which presently has 56 Cosponsors), the Senate legislation would bring more value to Historic Tax Credit projects, improve access to the credit, and encourage investment in smaller rehabilitation projects. However, the Senate bill differs from the House version in that it does not include a temporary increase in the HTC from 20%-30% to address pandemic challenges. HTC advocates anticipate that Sen. Cardin will introduce this temporary provision as a separate bill in July.
Key provisions of the Senate HTC-GO bill:
· Increases the credit from 20% to 30% for projects with less than $2.5 million in qualified rehabilitation expenses, making it easier to complete small rehabilitation projects.
· Lowers the substantial rehabilitation threshold, making more buildings eligible to use the HTC.
· Eliminates the requirement that the value of the HTC must be deducted from a building’s basis (property’s value for tax purposes), increasing the value of the HTC and making it easier to pair with the federal the Affordable Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC).
· Eliminates several IRS restrictions with tax exempt leasing that make it challenging for groups such as nonprofits, community health centers, local art centers, affordable housing, and homeless services to partner with developers on historic rehabilitation projects.
As an award-winning communications professional who creates and manages strategic campaigns, Dana has a special interest in crisis communications and public affairs. She works with our team and partners to tell the stories about our important preservation work and highlight what makes Maryland’s historic buildings, communities and landscapes special.