American Brewery, Historic Tax Credit project in Baltimore, Maryland.

Support the Historic Tax Credit Enhancement Act

By Elly Colmers Cowan

Last year, Preservation Maryland and our partners from across the country worked with members of Congress to retain the Historic Tax Credit (HTC) in a reformed tax code. While we were successful in keeping the HTC as a permanent tax credit, the credit is now taken over 5 years, resulting in a loss of value.

Maryland Senator Ben Cardin at the Phillips Packing Plant, Historic Tax Credit project on Maryland’s eastern shore.

In response to the weakening of the HTC, last June, Maryland Senator Ben Cardin joined with a bi-partisan group of legislators from around the nation to introduce legislation that would substantially improve the federal historic tax credit. The new legislation would enhance the value of historic tax credit investments from urban cores to rural Main streets across the country, while also keeping most of the associated cost savings from the tax reform modifications in place. The legislation would also eliminate burdensome adjusted basis requirements of the credit which have the effect of preventing smaller rehabilitation projects from taking advantage of the program. This change would enhance the value of all HTC transactions, attract more capital from tax credit investors, simplify how the credit functions, and improve how the credit pairs with other economic development programs such as the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and new Opportunity Zone incentive.

After the 2018 elections, sponsors anticipate an opportunity to attach the Tax Credit Improvement language to a larger legislative package that could possibly move through Congress during the year-end Lame Duck session. Support for the legislation needs to come from both sides of the aisle to improve its chances of enactment.



Preservation advocates are encouraged to contact their members of congress to express support for the proposal and to ask them to add their name as a co-sponsor the Historic Tax Credit Enhancement Act (H.R. 6081 and S. 3058).



Elly Colmers Cowan · Director of Advocacy

Elly Cowan is here to get you involved in historic preservation and community development by becoming an advocate with us or learning something new at one of our events.

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